Are Landmark Court Decisions All That Important?

Since June, when the Supreme Court upheld the use of racial preferences in university admissions in Grutter v. Bollinger, people on both sides of the affirmative-action issue have been scrutinizing the ruling and planning how to respond. What has been largely overlooked, however, is the broader context in which important Supreme Court decisions are made and what history might tell us about the ultimate impact of those decisions. What, if anything, will be the lasting consequences of