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But, last week, a federal judge relied on Morrison’s words in a rousing conclusion to the case on Harvard University’s use of race in admissions.

The judge, Allison Burroughs, said that when this wisdom is accepted it will “ultimately make race conscious admissions obsolete.” But that hasn’t happened yet.

The case began in 2014, when Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by Edward Blum, a conservative activist who opposes affirmative action, filed a lawsuit alleging that Harvard’s undergraduate-admissions process violated civil-rights laws that prohibit race discrimination.

Most controversially, the plaintiff alleged that Harvard’s admissions practices intentionally discriminated against Asian-Americans, a charge that Harvard rejected.

The focal point was evidence that admissions officers gave Asian applicants higher extracurricular and academic ratings than they did white applicants.

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