Monday, June 29, 2009

The Firefighters Win their Suit

Firefighter Frank Ricci

In a 5-to-4 decision, made along ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the white firefighters in their racial discrimination case. This is a direct reversal of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor's previous decision and is sure to be an extended topic of discussion during her upcoming confirmation hearings.

I've always been wary of the way the city of New Haven handled the results of its now infamous firefighter promotion test. It never made sense to me. When test results came back, and no black firefighters had scores high enough for immediate promotion, New Haven decided to throw out the results of the test on the grounds that the test itself may have been discriminatory and that the black firefighters might sue the city for discrimination. New Haven was not being altruistic in its concerns about "racial fairness."

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