Monday, June 29, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor Loses to Firefighters: Supreme Court Agrees with Firefighters: Sotomayor Overturned

Developing and just in, Judge Sonia Sotomayor's ruling at the 2nd Circuit Court holding that White New Haven, Connecticut firefighters were not discriminated against has been overturned in a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court with retiring Justice Kennedy writing the opinion. Updates below.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has overturned the Sotomayor 2nd Circuit decision denying discrimination. Sotomayor must be used to this by now, as 60% of her decisions reviewed by the Supreme's have been overturned.
The Supreme Court has ruled 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.
As background, the city offered tests for promotions. Whites outscored Blacks. No one got a promotion because the city felt it would be discriminatory to award the Whites passing the tests with promotions and denying promotions to Blacks who did not. Update 6-30-09: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read the dissenting opinion, but it is unclear who wrote the dissent:
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."
Other dissenting Justices: Breyer, Souter and Stevens. Judges upholding the claims of the White firefighters: Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts.
The Supreme Court ruled 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.

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.

Frank Ricci was the lead plaintiff firefighter in the lawsuit. Here's a quote from his father:
Now we're going to get the best managers as far as firefighters go.
An outside firm developed the test 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.
Sonia Sotomayor Loses to Firefighters

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