Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Supremes Sing For Justice in the Firemen Case

(On the day she was confirmed, lets look at the last time Sonia Sotomayor was overruled.)

"The city rejected the test results solely because the higher scoring candidates were white,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority,

The Supreme Court today did the right thing, the just thing, by ruling in a 5-4 decision that the New Haven firefighters were discriminated against because of their race when they were denied promotions to lieutenant when they received the top scores on their test.

Justice Kennedy gives the rationale for the holding below, which is the same rationale I used in my May 28 analysis of this case:

“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," wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

New Haven's defense? Incredibly, they did not say the test was discriminatory towards blacks. Instead, New Haven said they knew the City would be sued if they did not promote any blacks, so they threw out the tests only because a sufficient amount of blacks did not pass. (The last time I checked, the threat of future litigation was not a sufficient reason to deny an American citizen his/her constitutional rights.) Junior 5/28/09

I should be happy, right? Got the decision that I thought was just. And it was an easy case to decide. The mayor of New Haven did not like that the promotions (that were based on a standardized test) were going to 6 people that were not black. And in his view, that was enough to throw out the tests.

But what makes me sad/angry is that in 2009, we have Black Robes that would permit local governments and private employers to throw out test results simply for the fact that too many citizens from a particular racial/ethnic group passed the test.

Ginsburg-Stevens-Breyer and the now departed Souter are in the racial engineering business, plain and simple.

Ans Sotomayor is cut from the same infected cloth. Plain and simple her nomination is an abomination. Even the four dissenters in the case rejected the flawed reasoning of Sotomayor.

Someone wrote after this case, Sotomayor is like a pilot who crashed a plane and the cause was pilot error. After the crash, she is rewarded with being named the pilot for Air Force One. It defies common sense and basic reasoning.

Although the majority opinion was written by Justice Kennedy, I would urge you to read Justice Alito's concurrence which starts on page 43. Alito nails this case as a city shakedown from the jump start. The mayor of New Haven has this Sharpton- like preacher that is in his administration. This preacher is crucial in bringing out the vote, and the mayor even named him Chairman of the New Haven Board of Fire Commissioners, where he told firemen certain new recruits would not be hired because "they have too many vowels in their name."

This preacher was is very instrumental in getting out the vote on election day, put political pressure on the mayor, and as a result the mayor threw out the test results. The preacher had more political pull with the mayor than the firefighters. And Alito nails it when he wrote:

"the City's real reason was illegitimate, namely, the desire to placate a politically important racial constituency". Justice Alito

Thus, what this case really was about the whole time was that the black firefighters who did not score as high as the white and Latino applicants had enough political juice to have the results thrown out in a manner that violated the white applicants rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

I guess that is some sort of progress, where blacks have enough political power in some instances to deny white citizens their civil rights.

But is that what we want for America?

I think Chief Justice Roberts said it best two years ago in a case when he said:

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

And remember, this abomination would have been a perfectly legitimate if not for Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito & Kennedy.

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