those who are insisting the pending appointee is racist because the sc, by the narrowist of margins, refused to uphold a ruling in which she relied on legal precedent, would seem to instead prefer a judge who legislates from the bench. sotomayer refused to do that
the lower court rulings, the decisions upheld by sotomayer, hinged on adhering to the concept of "disparate impact"
the sc has now moved us away from that standard, creating new precedent to be followed
new haven did all of the right things
it made sure it did not discriminate by hiring a specialist to construct the exams in a way which would not confer a preference on minorities
but when it found that the test results still fell outside the "disparate impact" standards, new haven found that it could not (then) lawfully rely on the test results to effect the promotions. had it moved forward and done so, new haven would have been subject to a discrimination lawsuit by the minorities, who were not promoted because they did not score high enough on the tests to merit consideration. the concept of "disparate impact", however much the disparate impact could be found unintended, offered a (then) sound premise for a discrimination suit by the low scoring minority applicants, should the promotions been awarded to the high scoring majority applicants
new haven was caught in a classic catch 22
the law prevented the city from doing the right thing
and the sc has now revised the presedent so that reason can now prevail over "disparate impact"
in no way does that sc decision indicate that sotomayer was, or is, biased
what this matter does show is that sotomayer subscribes to the law when making her decisions
St. Louis had the exact same situation last year. White firefighters scored higher than black firefighters did on the captain exam. The city went to great lengths to insure the test was fair to all. The black firefighters union went to court, but a federal judge ruled that the test was not biased. The Fire Chief was black and refused to promote the white firefighters that scored highest on the exam. Of course, both sides were unhappy.
This logjam went on for six more months until the Mayor gave the chief an ultimatum to promote the firefighters that scored the highest on the test or else. The Chief refused, so the Mayor fired him.
I moved shortly thereafter, but as far as I know, the issue was settled.
Matthew 10:34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
That was a great post Justabubba!
I have read it a couple of times and let me tell you where I stumble. In your entire comprehensive summary of the case, I am unable to find the "beginning of the string". I can find no indication that anyone had any responsibility at any time.
The test designers have no responsibility. The test givers have no responsibility. The test takers have no responsibility. The city elders have no responsibility. Neither the trial nor appealate courts have any responsibility. It is not until you get to the Supreme Court that anyone takes any responsibility and all they say is: "You can't do it this way."
Is this really the way the system is intended to work? And if the answer to that question is "Yes" then I ask is this the system to which we all choose to give our affirmative consent?
The Supreme Court has brought justice to New Haven. I will say that I do not understand how an exam can be disciminatory in the first place. In Louisville, for example, the test for the police department gives preferential points to women, blacks, and latinos up front so that they score better on teh exams. The city claims this is fair, but to me such practice is discriminatory in itself, as it assumes that these groups are not as intelligent as the white male, who must score all the points on his own.
Sotomayor claimed that she was simply upholding the lower court as they had followed the law. I believe that she could have indeed prevented the Supreme Court from having to make the right decision, but many are on the affirmitive action bandwagon that has turned into reverse discrimination.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius