Abstract: This paper was first conceived for an audience of Canadian lawyers and judges. It was presented at a symposium held in July, 1985, in Cambridge, England, under the sponsorship of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Legal Studies. A part of the background is the recent "coming into force" in (March, 1985) of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a constitutional provision bearing clear analogy with the equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. The Canadians, preparing for a new constitutional undertaking, were understandably interested in learning about the various approaches to legally guaranteed "equality" that had risen out of the U.S. experience, and the author prepared this paper in response to that interest. The U.S. experience has, of course, been deeply and crucially shaped and driven by the centrality of race and racism in our country's history--a fact reflected in the paper as it moves on from its initial consideration of "formal" notions of legal equality to that of "substantive" ones.