Law

A 'Harry Potter' Defense of Affirmative Action

University of Texas describes its admissions process a little like the sorting hat.

Sorting hat, Texas-style.

Photographer: Jon Durr/Getty Images

The most important document in the most important Supreme Court case of the year is the University of Texas’ brief arguing that it needs to use affirmative action to achieve diversity in its undergraduate class. That brief, submitted Monday for the court’s consideration in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, says that the university can’t achieve its educational goals by admitting on numbers alone. Rather, achieving the magic of campus diversity requires a “holistic” effort to treat applicants as unique individuals with distinctive features. Think of the admissions process as a 10-gallon Texas version of the Hogwarts sorting hat, and you get the idea.

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