Just a year ago, after the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions program by a single swing vote, the question seemed to be edging, at last, toward an answer: Colleges could, the justices ruled, consider race when deciding whom to let through their gates.

“I thought this was settled,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, an economist at Georgetown University who studies affirmative action. “I thought it was done.”

Read more in The New York Times.