Sotomayor’s New Haven Firefighters Decision Expected To Be Overturned

While the MSM have generally remained in the “aw, isn’t she adorable?” and “the GOP is being mean to her” modes, it appears as if Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s record of overturned rulings by the same court she aspires to may grow from the previous 60%. Sotomayor’s decision on firefighters may be overruled by Supreme Court

In a decision that could fuel controversy over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the high court this month is expected to overrule one of her key appellate court rulings.

Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that, in a two-paragraph opinion, rejected an appeal by white firefighters from New Haven., Conn., who contended that they were victims of racial discrimination when they were denied promotions. They had scored well on a test, but the city decided against using the scores because it feared it might be sued since the results meant no blacks would be promoted.

The ruling in the firefighters’ case promises to be one of the most important of the Supreme Court term because it could affect public agencies across the nation. It is sure to gain even greater notice now that President Obama has nominated Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Critics contend that Sotomayor’s opinion shows that she would tilt in favor of racial minorities.

Perhaps. But, it would certainly show that she ignores the law in favor of her own viewpoints. More on that in a bit.

On the one hand, the act says no employee may be discriminated against because of his or her race, sex, religion or national origin. On the other hand, the law also says an employer can be sued for using a hiring or promotional standard that has a “disparate impact on the basis of race,” unless it can be defended as a “business necessity.”

The white firefighters pointed to the first provision and said they were discriminated against when the city decided not to use the test scores for awarding promotions.

The city’s lawyer pointed to the second provision and said New Haven could be sued by black firefighters who said the test had a “disparate impact” on them and their chances for promotion. Could the city defend itself, he asked, by proving that a paper-and-pencil test was the best and only reasonable way to decide who gets promoted to lieutenant or captain?

The result was the appeals court that Sotomayor sits on voting to deny the claim of the white firefighters because the city, in invalidating the exams “was simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act] when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact.” But what the LA Times, and so many others in the MSM, leave out is

New Haven paid $100,000 to a high stakes diversity testing firm, IO Solutions, Inc. of Illinois, to design the exams to be completely free of any racial bias. This is a necessary step these days in order to avoid charges of disparate impact upon protected minority groups — and New Haven does have a large population of protected minority groups.

That’s one of those pesky facts that Sotomayor left out from her decision. Should make for a fun court when she is finally approved (the GOP can’t stop this appointment.)

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