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2015-02

February 26, 2015

When John Roberts was nominated to the Court, there was significant concern about his civil rights record.  As a member of the Reagan Justice Department, Roberts took aim at basic policies and protections – from affirmative action to disparate impact liability – designed to help ensure equality of opportunity.  He’s done the same as Chief Justice.  While Roberts hasn’t always been able to bring his conservative colleagues together to roll back protections for equality, given his jurisprudence to date, this goal appears to remain central to his mission as Chief Justice.  When all is said and done, there is little doubt that Roberts’s legacy on matters of race will be one of trying, and in substantial part succeeding, in rolling back the clock on progress toward equal opportunity.