By Wyatt Earp | June 29, 2009
There is cause for belated celebration in New Haven, Connecticut today, as the Supreme Court found that white firefighters were unfairly denied promotions because the test’s results did not have enough racial diversity. Obama SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor sided against the affected firefighters during the appellate ruling.
Sonia Sotomayor siding against white firefighters. Shocka!
Captain America has been on this story for months now, as his profession (and mine) is directly affected by this ruling.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court sided Monday with white firefighters in a workplace discrimination lawsuit, a divisive case over the role race should play in job advancement.
In the split 5-4 vote, a majority of the justices ruled that the city of New Haven, Connecticut, improperly threw out the results of promotional exams that officials said left too few minorities qualified.
The fact that this was a 5-4 split really angers me. This should have been an open and shut case, as there was obvious racism shown here by the city of New Haven.
One Latino and no African-American firefighters qualified for promotion based on the exam; the city subsequently decided not to certify the results and issued no promotions.
They did not score high enough to make the promotional list. How is that anyone else’s fault but their own? New Haven then felt it necessary to punish the white firefighters because they studied harder and passed the test? Are you kidding me?
Worse yet, four justices saw no problem with this. Amazing.
“The city rejected the test results solely because the higher scoring candidates were white,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority. “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.”
Exactly. Well said, Justice Kennedy. Of course, with every example of common sense, there is a dissent from an idiot:
In a dissent read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned the fairness of the test, which was 60 percent written and 40 percent oral.
“Relying so heavily on pencil-and-paper exams to select firefighters is a dubious practice,” Ginsburg said, calling the majority ruling “troubling.” (H/T – CNN)
Ginsburg, as usual, is 100% incorrect. The only part of the promotional exam that could be called into question is the oral, because the board can find some answers are up to interpretation. The written exam has only one correct answer. It is far from dubious!
What the Hell would she have the fire department do? Resorting to something akin to “field promotions” would lend itself to nepotism, favoritism, and other shenanigans. Oral and written exams are currently the only fair way to promote from within the ranks!
This, my friends, is what happens when you appoint ultra-liberal justices to the court. They want to affect the law instead of interpret it – and that is not the job of the SCOTUS. It is also why appointing Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is a mistake.
Appoint an ultra-liberal; I couldn’t care less. But have the good sense to appoint a liberal who understands the job, and not one who wants to make law from the bench.