January 23, 2013, 12:29 pm
Those opposing affirmative action argued before the Supreme Court in the fall that a deep commitment to individual fairness should trump any concern for diversity. The plaintiff, Abigail Fisher, claimed that she was the victim of racial discrimination because Latino and African-American students with lower scores had been admitted to the University of Texas, while she, who is white, had not. In contrast, proponents of affirmative action argued that diversity is a vital, compelling state interest.
If admission to college were based solely upon test scores, there would be no need for admissions offices: Students would just submit their test scores and high-school grade-point averages, and a computer would admit them in rank order. No college has ever done so, and none ever will. For a wide range of reasons, admissions officers make assessments based on such factors as high-school…