Monday

Turns out whites can be discriminated against too.


Finally something to cheer about.

I was surfing the liberal media and found this story on MSNBC. I was at once encouraged as I thought for sure this one would go the other way. The story follows with excerpts in bold and expert commentary from yours truly:

Supreme Court rules for white firefighters
But high court delays deciding status of anti-Hillary movie

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

Finally we have an official recognition that discrimination can go both ways. For the longest time it seemed that everyone but whites could be victims and only whites could be guilty of racial discrimination. I’m glad to see the court recognize that the door swings both ways.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide and make it harder to prove discrimination when there is no evidence it was intentional.

This should have been the law of the land to begin with. In fact I find it insulting that it took a Supreme Court decision to make a statement of the obvious.

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

God bless these justices who’s decision will help eradicate reverse discrimination across this country. Racial discrimination is a blight and should be wiped out no matter what form it appears in. Discrimination in the name of equality flies in the face of logic and is all the more insidious for its professed goal (discrimination) is no different.

Dissenting opinion

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them."

Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg's dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday.


Kennedy's opinion made only passing reference to the work of Sotomayor and the other two judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld a lower court ruling in favor of New Haven.

But the appellate judges have been criticized for producing a cursory opinion that failed to deal with "indisputably complex and far from well-settled" questions, in the words of another appeals court judge, Sotomayor mentor Jose Cabranes.

"This perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal," Cabranes said, in a dissent from the full 2nd Circuit's decision not to hear the case.

I wonder how the decision would have looked had Sotomayor already been seated as a justice. I imagine it would have still been a 5-4 split, just in the other direction. Thank God for small favors.

Monday's decision has its origins in New Haven's need to fill vacancies for lieutenants and captains in its fire department. It hired an outside firm to design a test, which was given to 77 candidates for lieutenant and 41 candidates for captain.

Fifty six firefighters passed the exams, including 41 whites, 22 blacks and 18 Hispanics. But of those, only 17 whites and two Hispanics could expect promotion.

The city eventually decided not to use the exam to determine promotions. It said it acted because it might have been vulnerable to claims that the exam had a "disparate impact" on minorities in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The white firefighters said the decision violated the same law's prohibition on intentional discrimination.

Kennedy said an employer needs a "strong basis in evidence" to believe it will be held liable in a disparate impact lawsuit. New Haven had no such evidence, he said.

The city declined to validate the test after it was given, a step that could have identified flaws or determined that there were no serious problems with it. In addition, city officials could not say what was wrong with the test, other than the racially skewed results.

…which means they lacked a basis for making such an intentionally discriminatory action.

This decision may be among the last of its kind if the likes of Sonia Sotomayor are seated in the Supreme Court. I will celebrate this land mark case that rails against discrimination in any form, even against the “white man”. Discrimination and racism are an anathema to a free and enlightened society and I for one am glad to see that the Supreme Court agrees.

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