During the late 1990s, as the debate over affirmative action escalated, Texas moved into the national limelight. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found the use of race or ethnicity in college admissions unconstitutional in Hopwood v. Texas, the state embarked on a bold experiment. In 1997, the Texas legislature passed H.B. 588, commonly termed the Top Ten Percent Law, which guaranteed automatic admission to any public university for applicants who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school senior class. Legislators cited both general principles of equal access, and empirical evidence that high school grades are strong predictors of college success, and hoped that the new approach would increase, or at least maintain, ethnoracial diversity at the state’s selective public institutions.