When former President Nixon had the fortune of filling four vacancies on the Supreme Court, there were dire predictions from civil libertarians and others about the path the new majority on the Court would pursue. The passage of time has revealed a Court that, while temperamentally different from its predecessor of the 1960's, has not been the wrecking crew that some thought it would be. The landmarks-school desegregation, legislative reapportionment, the nearly wholesale application of the Bill of Rights to the states-remain and will remain. Nevertheless, this is a Court increasingly willing to lay down its own view of the Constitution, of the judicial process, of the role of the Court as the guardian of individual liberties. In many areas of the Court's work-criminal procedure, the First Amendment, equal protection, and others-the difference between where we are today and where we were at the close of the Warren era is marked and inescapable.

A. E. Dick Howard, State Courts and Constitutional Rights in the Day of the Burger Court, 62 Virginia Law Review, 873–944 (1976).