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caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 10:14 AM

SUPREME COURT DECISION (POLITICAL

In breaking news the highest court in the land just ruled that reverse discrimination is unconstitutional I say amen-way past time. Could care less how it affects Sotomayor probably not at all because te votes are there. This decision reversed and earlier one she had made and I am so very happy as have been watching this one a LONG time

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 10:31 AM

Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Case

WASHINGTON — DEVELOPING: 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.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,529409,00.html



diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 10:46 AM

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."


Well...DUH! NOBODY received a promotion, which was the BASIS for this suit.

Can't wait to see how Atty. TSK spins this one.




garrybl
Garrybl  (Level: 279.5 - Posts: 6639)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 11:40 AM

So of course if Kennedy had voted the other way and it had been 5-4 in the other direction you would all have been supporting Judge Sotomayor?
I happen to think the decision makes sense -- but then I'm not a lawyer --and neither are you....
Turning every decision of every day into a repetitive bash-fest may get your rocks off (metaphorically) but I'm really surprised yoju cant work out the law of diminishing returns.

Caramel; I'm sorry your family was negatively affected by reveerse discrimination. I really dont think it makes up for 400 years of the other sort of discrimination. Unless you're Justice Thomas.

Barry

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 12:03 PM

Barry - have you read the case?

The discrimination in this case occurred only because of fear of litigation, which the Supreme Court ruled is unconstitutional.

How many caucasian people died in the Civil War to right the wrong? How many caucasian people had to work hard, arm and arm with minorities, and vote and amend the Constitution in the 20th century to right wrongs?

It was the caucasians with "the power" who laid down the power, turned their back on discrimination, and did the right thing.

How many years will make it right?

No amount of years will make it right. The only thing that makes anything right is to once and for all turn our backs on discrimination in all forms and move forward.



fudypatootie
Fudypatootie  (Level: 197.1 - Posts: 1302)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 12:09 PM

Whether the decision went this way or the other, it wouldn't change Sotomayor's previous vote. The court was right to make this decision. And Ginsburg is wrong when she says there's no right to promotion. Getting a certain score on the test, which these men did, was the city's own criteria for promotion.

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 12:45 PM

"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," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

BOLD JUSTICE THOMAS

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 1:40 PM

Before commenting further, I would like to read the dissents.

But I am glad the Court came down on the side of continuing to outlaw all discrimination.

A couple of years ago, I was disappointed with Michigan Law School case, but only because UMich had lied in court as to what they were doing. The minority dissent showed clearly that UMich had a quota system for law school admissions. I am quite content with the use of race as a factor in admissions, but according the the Court it must never be the factor. At UMich it was.

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 2:41 PM


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 4:22 PM

Thank you, Palma

I'm going through it. I think the case boils down to how New Haven decided to throw out the written firefighters' exam. Was it to avoid liability for using an exam that produced a disparate racial impact, or was it as a result of pressure from local interest groups?

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 4:32 PM

The original Civil Rights legislation came about so that no one could be discriminated against because of race, ethnic origin, or gender. People by law are supposed to be judged on qualifications. The test was the basis for promotion and the firefighters who scored the highest should have been promoted and race should have been kept out of it. Instead the city threw out the test for fear of law suits. Just wish I could get a look at the back pay check that these firefighters get and rightly deserve.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 4:36 PM

I believe that" disparate impact" thing just flew out the window as the situation as the lawmakers have overcompensated for far too long MO

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 4:38 PM

Linda, it's a lot of money and I think I read New Haven is broke.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 4:45 PM

Most likely they are like most US cities...

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 5:02 PM

Since Diva expressed some interest in my take on this case, I'll give it.

The City of New Haven argued that the "objective" test in issue did not, in fact, correlate particularly well with the competencies necessary to be a firefighter. When none of the African American candidates did as well as whites for promotions, New Haven decided not to use the test results, expressing concern that they could be sued by the blacks for discrimination on the grounds that the test resulted in disparate impact on minority candidates, while the test scores were not a good indicator of who would perform well if promoted. The majority held that, in fact, the record established that the tests were prepared to be specifically relevant to the positions in issue, and held that throwing out the tests because of the relative scores of whites and blacks amounted to unconstitutional racial discrimination.

The dissenters disagreed that the tests were shown to be specifically relevant with respect to the promotions. Justice Ginsburg stated:

"In so holding, the Court pretends that “[t]he City rejected the test results solely because the higher scoring candidates were white.” Ante, at 20. That pretension, essential to the Court’s disposition, ignores substantial evidence of multiple flaws in the tests New Haven used. The Court similarly fails to acknowledge the better tests used in other cities, which have yielded less racially skewed outcomes."

The majority at least pretends that they might find that some tests used for promotions are so unrelated to the positions for which the test is given that its use could be deemed to discriminate against blacks. (I personally doubt that at least four members of the majority would ever find a test of this variety deficient, but that's another story.) The dissenters find that the City had the right to throw out the test when no African Americans did well enough on it to get a promotion. At least in theory, this case doesn't represent any great departure from existing law, and the majority opinion does not state that affirmative action is always unconstitutional. (Again, however, I believe that four of the majority would never find that the facts of any case permitted consideration of race.

I don't know what the record showed, but I suspect I would have agreed with the dissent's analysis of the relationship of the test to identifying the most qualified applicants. The fact is that there are very few jobs for which one candidate is unquestionably superior than another, and I don't have a problem with the race of minority applicants being considered among other criteria. New Haven is 60% African American, but apparently almost all the firefighters -- beyond the lowest level -- are white. I think that it reduces racial tension where the racial mix of public employees bear some resemblance to the population of the public that is paying those employees.

As a historical point, the 14th amendment was adopted to stop the states -- including subordinate units of government -- from discriminating against blacks. It had nothing to do with protecting whites from discrimination. The fact is that blacks suffered serious systemic discrimination throughout the USA -- admittedly more in some places than others -- from the time they arrived as slaves from Africa to at least into the 1970s. Racial prejudice and discrimination remains a problem, but I would say that in my lifetime there have been significant improvements. Nonetheless, I believe that African Americans remain at a disadvantage because of the years of discrimination they suffered so I have no problem with some consideration of race being taken in many types of decisions. To take just one example of how African Americans continue to suffer because of past discrimination, many universities -- including elite schools -- use "legacy" admissions, that is, if the applicant is a descendant of an alumni of the school, that increases their prospects for admission. Of course, due to discrimination for hundreds of years in North America, there is a much shorter tradition of university education for blacks, who, thus, are hurt by legacy admission policies, yet I rarely hear people argue that these have the effect of discriminating against blacks and should be eliminated.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 5:17 PM

TSK, I think you ought to read the opinions first. I have yet to review the majority opinions.

However, I too have no problem with race being a factor. However, it cannot be "the" factor and it well may have been here. I've yet to see anywhere in this case where race was to be any factor.

Frankly it looks really bad when promotions are denied after the testing has been selected and executed, and then the results are not satisfactory racially.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 6:12 PM

I'd love to see the test. I think it would be obviously and quickly apparent if there were anything in the test that would not apply to the job and that would have a blooming thing to do with one's race, creed, or culture.

And if I were in a fire, I don't care if you're purple with green polka dots - just get me the heck outa there.

I'll laugh at how you look later - and you'll probably laugh at my looks, too.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 6:21 PM

It was a victory for the firefighters and I applaud that. The bigger issue was raised by If I remember correctly Justice Scalia that at some point the Supreme Court will have to rule on the issue that Civil Rights Legislation ( legislation which usualy speaks to preference by race and/or gender) cannot coexist with laws saying no discrimination because of race or gender. This issue was punted as the Court only ruled that Hartford could not throw out the test that they had said ws the basis for promotion simply because of fear of lawsuits. Leave the in depth exlanation to those who know and be happy with this small victory.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 6:28 PM

Linda, I believe this is yet another of those cases where minority preferences can be considered, but cannot be the overriding factor.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 6:32 PM

Scalia wrote for the majority-read it. He said he concurred but the Court at some point would have to favce the "EVIL"-his word-issue of the Civil Rights 64 thing was not compatible with equal rights-they punted

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 7:31 PM

Now, I have read most of the dissent and the first part of the majority opinion.

You missed the boat, TSK.

The city after the fact was groping for reasons to reject the test and not promote the whites and Hispanics. Problem is the test was well-designed, and there was not good reason to reject it - other than local race-based politics.

fainodraino
Fainodraino  (Level: 113.0 - Posts: 240)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 8:48 PM

A few things...

I agree with Jank's first post in this thread.

I don't owe anyone anything. I never owned a slave. And it doesn't really matter if my ancestors did. Why should I pay for the sins of people who have been dead for 150 years? Get over it.

If for some reason you think we're still a mostly racist country, look at the White House. Geez.

Is there still racism in this country? Yes. It's not difficult to see. I see white people being racist to all kinds of colors. I also see black people being racist to all kinds of colors, too, especially whites, latinos, and yes, other black people. Ridiculous. I'm sick and tired of hearing about some (not all) black folks griping about racism, and then turning around and bashing white folks. If racism is wrong, it is wrong. Period. It's not conditional.

(and here come all the comments that I'm a horrible human being and I should be ashamed of myself, blah, blah, blah...and then of course some lame comment from BM)

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Mon, 29th Jun '09 9:04 PM

Did they give the questions in Rap? My students always knew the answers when asked in Rap...no matter what culture they were. And I say that with all respect...to all cultures, even teenagers. Sometimes its just how you ask and the environment...not the knowledge.

Assessment became my specialty in my career. Let me just say that there is NO fair "test" when considered in isolation.

As usual, TSK went right to the core of the matter. The test cannot be valid, because no one can prove that it is...and there is plenty of opinion that it was not. Doesn't matter what "race" passed or failed it (as with many in the scientific community, I do not believe any more that there are three distinct races...it's all culture, so I don't like to use the word).

I wasted an hour looking for a copy of the test to no avail. If someone has the link, please add it here.

I do not find this to be a landmark decision of any kind, nor a gauge for the nominee...that's all political hype and BS. Much ado about nothing...though the issues of discrimination of ANY kind should be discussed and we should get better at eliminating it on all levels. Here's hoping that happens.

Sun



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 1:33 AM

Yes , Sun, I am of am Era when it was thought and was told that I should teach "Black English" as that is what the kids in Detroit where I taught spoke. Funny thing the program lasted less than a year because some person in charge discovered (SURPRISE) that was not what was spoken in most of the US and did not prepare them for the job market. This decision will not derail Sotomajor nor does it change any kind drasitically just will make it more difficult to pass over qualified white people simply because of race. They have chipped away a bit at the Civil Rights thing in the past couple of weeks starting with the voting rules in the one Texas district. Until, the larger issue is addressed by the Court that the 1964 law/legislation is incompatible with blindness to color as things are supposed to be in education, jobs, a etc, these smaller things which they can use to punt that "evil' a Justice Scalia called it will continue with this case by case issue..

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 2:55 AM

In all due respect Linda, I was speaking of assessment, not teaching, and not, certainly, teaching English. Formal English is the money in the bank...as you point out. I taught it for many years...I see formal use of the language as a demonstration of discipline and important for clarity. Its true in any language.

I cannot argue civil rights with you...since this country was based on "all men are created equal", but everyone gained the right to vote before women. This country does not have a history of justice...but fortunately a goal. The 1964 Legislation called for justice...and has as many flaws as all social laws, but fortunately exists so this discussion can be held.

I hope our grandchildren will feel they have been treated justly no matter what color.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:57 AM

Sun, do you really think you could tell whether a test for fire-fighters is valid? The city paid a firm specializing in such tests $100,000 to develop tests for firefighters.

Read the SCOTUS opinion http://documents.nytimes.com/supreme-court-opinion-ricci-v-destefano#p=1

On page 11 from a fire program specialist, "They should know that material."

The appellant Ricci is dislexic. He spent a good sum of money to prepare for the test. He passed. Read elsewhere about his story. It's moving.

Sorry, but this is a case where the city did not like the test results racially and tried to overturn them. They deserve to pay bigtime.

The more I read about this case, the more disgusted I become. Affirmative action was designed to help qualified candidates, not be a racial spoils system.

I just hope the minority opinion wasn't trying to provide cover for nominee Sotomayor.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:26 AM

Kind of on the topic, kind of off the topic, more of a curiosity post.

Does anyone else think that all these empowerment movements might "lose their teeth" so to speak, or perhaps be far LESS (as opposed to completely) necessary, if being at the "bottom" of society was not such a horrible place to be? I mean, instead of focusing on empowering particular groups why not just focus on making the lower rungs a more pleasant place to be? These political empowerment movements just go on and on, and take up a ton of resources, when it just seems to me, and perhaps this is naive, that most people wouldn't really mind being at the bottom of a hierarchy, if being at the bottom were actually a better place to be. In other words, I'm not entirely sure that it's the difference between power and pay that gets people really upset when it comes to issues such as these, but rather the DEGREE of the difference in power and pay, and also how people are treated in light of those differences. Er, what do you think about it? I'm all ears if you feel like responding to this one.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 5:54 AM

I Believe the best argument is that people must come up to the standards not the standards lowered to the person. Believe if the minority groups had been promoted by know less as lower scores might have been an indication of, the most qualified person/people would not have been promoted. Our current public education system makes a HS diploma next to worthless as kids know less than they once did in grade five. The standards have been brought down to the students. Believe that coupled with the inability to enforce discipline has lead people to Charter or private schools Yes, there are bad teachers but certainly the majority are not. Throwing money at school system will not the answer. People are in jobs who are not qualified for the job because of Civil Rights Legislation and be it a mental test or a physical one they got the job over someone who did far better. Believe those firefighters not only had a written but an oral exam.

As to your comment ,Jeremy, never saw a person yet who did not want to :better" their position either in the desired way of earning it or more often now because they figure they deserve it because you/society OWES them. Any debt that anyone owed has been well paid for long ago. Cannot help but agree with Scalia that the Court must address the "EVIL" that exists sooner rather than later

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 6:23 AM

This wasn't a case about standards, Linda.

It was a case of a city administration seeking cover for their racist actions.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 6:38 AM

Linda: I think I understand how that post came off to you, and that's not exactly what I meant. Of course people want to better their positions, I wasn't questioning "whether" people should, perhaps only questioning the "how" of it. It seems like probably most of us continue some upward mobililty in our careers whether we like it or not as we age. That seems inevitable in this country to me, though whether it affects everybody I don't know.

Guess what I was saying is that most of these movements seem to be "rebelling" against some form of mistreatment or suffering on their part. I won't argue that switching people around has no curative effect, because of course it does, but it sometimes it seems small and often times all you get is new forms of bad behavior, or bad behavior resurfacing itself in the "recently rearranged" group of people who rebelled. You can phrase it however you want, but the problem of people treating others bad remains, (or you might just call it the problem of evil) it just mixes up WHO gets treated really bad to a certain extent (from my perspective of course). Again, to avoid obnoxious comments, I'll repeat it does help some.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 6:51 AM

I'll give you an example of what I mean for clarification purposes. I think feminism has contributed to a greater understanding of the female sex, which might be useful in curing the problem of maltreatment of women. I think that will help in the long run. But in my mind, the problem of evil remains untouched by and large, we just have different people being hurt instead. Perhaps I'm being narrow minded here, but that is primarily what empowerment movements are rebelling against, no? Maltreatment of some kind?

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 6:52 AM

Yes, Andy, it was about ass covering. The fact remains though that the firefighters met the "standard" necessary for promotion both oral and written and were denied because no African American candidates did. The city rightly thought they would be sued if they had gone through with the proper promotions and they probably would have been. It certainly would not have been the first time a municipality, school; or someone/ something else had been sued for that same reason. In past suits they won. Hopefully this ruling will change that

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 7:01 AM

No, Linda, the city seized that excuse to cover for their racist actions. Read the case from start to finish. The reasons came after the move began to quash the tests results. Racism, racism, racism.

When I have moment, I will post here the story of the appellant in this case, one Frank Ricci. It makes the city's unconstitutional actions just that much more reprehensible.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 7:09 AM

Actually the city of Hartford was not as blatantly racist as some cities like at least Detroit used to be. They would promote African-Americans with much lower scores over white officers just because they were African-American. Hartford at least did not promote anyone. Both are racism but Detroit's practices more blatant than Hartfords. Think if you look at te bigger picture you will se. Sotomayor brags about being an "affirmative action baby" school test scores much lower than her classmates. That is racism and gender bias probably.. She is a shoo-in though

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 7:19 AM

Lower scores does not necessarily mean unqualified, Linda. Affirmative action was originally intended to provide opportunity to minorities of SIMILAR ABILITY who perhaps did not have the same educational opportunities. These were candidates expected to catch up with those whose scored higher.

That's a wonderful concept for me. When I worked in mass transit, I saw and met excellent examples of affirmative action working well.

I saw the same thing at college. A guy from Appalachia I met the first week seemed a little lost at an Ivy League school. I'm not sure I saw this guy again until my senior year. He graduated summa cum laude, well ahead of me.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 7:49 AM

The debate about whether "Affirmative Action' has served its purpose and now should be a thing of the past follows along the same lines as the debate about Unions. It depends on who you ask. If you ask a minority person they will most likely say that affirmation action is still very necessary. If you ask someone especially a white male right after they punch you in the face, you will probably get the answer it should be over and out.

If you ask a small business owner who is looking card check in the face he will most likely tell you unionization will more than likely put him out of business. Believe there was a poll saying that the average worker does not want to be a union member. If you ask a union organizer, however, they will tell you that unions are more necessary now than ever.

What stays and what goes will depend on who screams the loudest If you haven't noticed many people are angry about many things-and where the power lies when meaningful decisions are made


smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 9:25 AM

It wasn't racism, it was law. My understanding is that there's a legal test that says IF the results of such a test are lopsided to a specific degree, said results are subject to challenge for bias; the very fact of the lopsidedness is itself considered evidence of bias in the test - not just this test, but all tests - and I believe in some cases forces a legal challenge. The results of the New Haven test met that legal test for action, which would leave New Haven subject to ruinous descrimination lawsuits based on the premise that the test was faulty. New Haven was damned if they did and damned if they didn't. Pretty sure they're still damned.

Yes, Ricci is a very touching case, but it's about the law, not the emotion.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 9:38 AM

I'm torn on this one. Have heard that the test didn't actually address skills that were needed for the job.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 9:48 AM

Believe the argument will remain that many believe some laws have outlived their purpose. When I taught in Detroit, kids were bused from one district to another to equalize the racial thing. The result was that white people left the city and black kids were being bused from one black populated school to another. The busses quit running. The standard expected from Detroit students was lowered to meet the students not the students brought up to a standard. Young people these days most likely have not felt the sting of not being considered for a job because of their color or gender unless, of course, they are white and male. I believe the laws have outlived their purpose as the goal and then some has been achieved.

allena
Allena  (Level: 255.0 - Posts: 1389)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 12:00 PM

All nine justices thought that the summary judgement of the initial case was rediculous. Associate Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's failure to recognize that point is significant.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 12:16 PM

Yes, but she still is a shoo-in. It is about who has the votes not her qualifications unless someone could uncover "sensational" wrong -doing -hard to say in this day and age what "sensational" might be though

allena
Allena  (Level: 255.0 - Posts: 1389)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 12:19 PM

And ... she is young enough to be there a long time. Maybe she will have an epiphany.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 1:18 PM

No, Donna, it wasn't law. It was racist politics. That's why it was overturned.





collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 1:48 PM

Regarding Ricci, Wikipedia writes

"The lead plaintiff is Frank Ricci, who has been a firefighter at the New Haven station for 11 years. Ricci gave up a second job to have time to study for the test. Because he has dyslexia, he paid an acquaintance $1,000 to read his textbooks on to audiotapes. Ricci also made flashcards, took practice tests, worked with a study group, and participated in mock interviews. He placed 6th among 77 people who took the lieutenant's test."

And he was denied a promotion because of the racist actions of the New Haven city government.

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 2:23 PM

In New Haven, Nancy Ricci, whose son, Frank, was the lead plaintiff on the lawsuit, carried a large cake decorated with red, white and blue frosting into the law office where the firefighters were celebrating their victory.

The ruling is "a sign that individual achievement should not take a back seat to race or ethnicity," said Karen Torre, the firefighters' attorney. "I think the import of the decision is that cities cannot bow to politics and pressure and lobbying by special interest groups or act to achieve racial quotas."

At a press conference on the steps of city hall in New Haven, firefighter Frank Ricci said the ruling showed that "if you work hard, you can succeed in America."





tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 2:52 PM

For the record, I did read the majority and dissenting opinions (and had before I posted), and I stand by what I said. Yes, it is true that the majority characterized the test as perfectly appropriate and claimed, in essence, that the City was looking to find fault with the test. As shown by the excerpt I quoted form the dissent, the dissent disagreed. As I stated, having no access to the actual record, I can't really say, but based on who was in the majority and who dissented -- I expect that if I had access to the record, I would likely agree with the dissent's position with regard to the test.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 2:56 PM

I think that's a problem when you are completely willing to stand by your own opinion that is based in prejudice, rather than fact, since no one has a copy of the test to really judge.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:06 PM

"All nine justices thought that the summary judgment of the initial case was ridiculous. Associate Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's failure to recognize that point is significant."

Such an excellent observation by Allena that I have repeated it.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:06 PM

Well, you see Jank, mine is not uninformed opinion. I have followed the Supreme Court decisions for years, and I am very familiar with the views of the individual justices -- as well as those justices' backgrounds. I know that when I have had more complete information than I happen to about this case, I rarely agree with the justices in the majority -- or, again, more precisely four of them -- and that I am much more likely to agree with the dissenters' views. I also specifically left open the possibility that I would conclude that the majority's position as to what the record showed -- the test and the facts surrounding the City's rejection of same -- was the better view. So I reject the view that my conclusions are "based in prejudice" -- they are based in my knowledge of the justices' work as judges.

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:16 PM

The majority of justices said the city 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 city said it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said in the ruling, "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." He was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Monday's decision has its origins in New Haven's need to fill vacancies for lieutenants and captains in its fire department. It hired an outside firm to design a test, which was given to 77 candidates for lieutenant and 41 candidates for captain.

Fifty-six firefighters passed the exams, including 41 whites, nine blacks and six Hispanics. But of those, only 17 whites and two Hispanics could expect promotion.

The city eventually decided not to use the exam to determine promotions. It said it acted because it might have been vulnerable to claims that the exam had a "disparate impact" on minorities in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The decision tried to find the spot between what can be seen as competing provisions of Title VII -- which says that individuals may not be treated differently because of their race, religion or sex, but also that seemingly neutral testing requirements can be discriminatory if they have a disparate impact on members of one group.

New Haven officials said they found themselves in a difficult position when the test results showed that no African Americans and only two Hispanics would have been eligible for promotion to the ranks of lieutenant and captain. City officials said they feared a lawsuit.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said that was not a good enough reason to dismiss the test results. "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," he wrote.

Kennedy said that New Haven's test -- 60 percent of the firefighters' scores were based on a written test and 40 percent on interviews -- properly evaluated what candidates would need to know to perform their jobs, and that it was equally applied to candidates of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

"The process was open and fair," he said. "The problem, of course, is that after the tests were completed, the raw racial results became the predominant rationale for the city's refusal to certify the results."

Kennedy wrote for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Perhaps Atty. TSK should reveiw Title VII

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:18 PM

Or again I ask Atty TSK where do you Appeal a Supeme Court decision?

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:29 PM

Wow, there's some love between the people on this thread, lol.

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:32 PM

Atty TSK always seems to agree with the dissents of the Supreme Court; and I keep asking him where to appeal.

MAJORITY RULES!

Last I checked (today) it's STILL the highest Court in our land.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:42 PM

Andy: “And he was denied a promotion because of the racist actions of the New Haven city government.”

Of course, as a captain he will still be dyslexic, therefore would have to have reports read to him and an assistant to do his reports? Maybe he really isn’t qualified for this kind of position?

And what about your other point? :
Andy: On page 11 from a fire program specialist, "They should know that material."
Why did he have to study so hard if he should already know the material?

Andy: “The appellant Ricci is dislexic. He spent a good sum of money to prepare for the test. He passed. Read elsewhere about his story. It's moving.”
I applaud his effort…he was lucky to have the RESOURCES (time and money). Reading the opinion also made it clear that the $500.00 for the study materials alone was prohibitive for many. The test WAS NOT EVEN LOOKED AT prior to administering it. It was pointed out that much of it had nothing to do with the specific circumstances of New Haven…very different from “New York”.

There seems to me to be an underlying assumption you are making. Those that did not pass the test didn’t try hard enough. There is bias in that assumption. You are also assuming that passing the test is a valid indicator of “the best” for the job. Many disagree with that.

Andy: Sun, do you really think you could tell whether a test for fire-fighters is valid? The city paid a firm specializing in such tests $100,000 to develop tests for firefighters.
Actually, I could gauge the validity of the test if I knew what skills/knowledge were being evaluated. Strange that is never specified…one of the biggest problems with tests. Vague references to what every firefighter should know and rules and procedures. No leadership abilities? Problem-solving? Decision-making? My point is a single assessment tool for a complex role like administration is ridiculous…and impossible to be truly valid for capacity of job performance. That point was made in the opinion as well.

And please, the worst tests in the country are composed by “firms” that charge a ridiculous amount of money for their crap. The results make the test invalid…period. There is no other reason for the disparity in the results.
As a high school teacher, if I gave a test and most of the boys passed it and none of the girls…whether I could identify why or not, the test is obviously invalid.

Again, this country has never been “just” to any group (except those in power). We are progressing, though, and I hope our grandchildren experience fairness, and give it, no matter what gender, lifestyle, religion, or ethnicity.

Sun


jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:47 PM

There seems to me to be an underlying assumption you are making. Those that did not pass the test didn’t try hard enough. There is bias in that assumption.

I don't think that's true at all.

The point is this person worked harder than others to pass and did - and yet still did not receive the deserved and EARNED promotion. He didn't put anyone else DOWN - he brought himself UP.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:50 PM

Point: if you have stated that the test WILL be the basis used for promotion , then you cannot simply throw out the test because you don't like the results. Perhaps it should never have been stated that the test would be the basis or promotion but it was so stated so LIVE with the results.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 3:58 PM

Plus the fact that they must not have thought the test was biased toward or against anyone or they wouldn't have administered that test in the first place. They were just surprised and scared by the results.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:00 PM

They didn't throw out the results because they didn't "like" them, but because the one-sidedness of the results left the test open to legal challenge.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:00 PM

I don't make any such assumptions, Sun. Ricci and others did their homework. They passed with fine scores.

I read the Court opinion. The city invented a weak case against the test after the results were in. That reasoning didn't pass muster at SCOTUS. The time line of events was damning. Mob rule supporting racism is disgusting, Sun, and that's what we are looking at here. It's no different than a lynching in the 19th century.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:02 PM

Donna, they threw out the results precisely because they didn't like them.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:02 PM

Uh, yeah, it's different than a lynching.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:11 PM

If the results show the test to be invalid it SHOULD be thrown out. The point isn't "not liking" the results...the point is the test is invalid.

Why in the world should we have to LIVE with it? That doesn't make sense to me. Bad decisions and bad practice can always be changed...for the better.

Sun

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:11 PM

Different?

Well, in a lynching the victim is hanged.

In a multicultural racist lynching the victim's spirit is killed.

(Do the math.)

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:13 PM

Who said the test was invalid?

Not the Supremes.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:16 PM

"Mob rule supporting racism is disgusting, Sun,..." I totally agree.

"and that's what we are looking at here." I totally disagree.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:16 PM

Some of you delight in saying this as I now will. We WON get over it!

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:18 PM

That's what happened, Sun.

Decision first, reasons afterward. Untangled by the Supremes.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:19 PM

No, Linda.

Justice prevailed.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:23 PM

"Some of you delight in saying this as I now will. We WON get over it!"

"We"? Linda...whatever you won I hope you enjoy.

Frankly, that comment alarms me to the point of waving goodbye. Now I know why everyone is avoiding these threads. It's a contest and no one, but you, knows the rules. You should write tests for a living. There's a lot of money in it.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:30 PM

Sun - Linda was only QUOTING THE PRESIDENT!

At least 3 times, when questioned in press conferences, "We won" had been the president's answer to the question.

It's not the thread's fault. I've never heard any other president say such a thing in my entire 56 years of life.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:31 PM

Actually, Sun, I start very few of these political threads any more. Since my family has been the victims of reverse discrimination, I consider the Court's decision a plus You can call it a victory and the only reason I said WE WON is that is the standard line beginning with Nancy Pelosi when anyone doesn't like what she and most members of Congress decide to do. My thinking is that many of them as soon as possible will be jobless as don't believe they speak for the people they pretend to represent.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 4:52 PM

Wow, you guys just lost one of your more intelligent contributers to these threads.

Sun, it's not really the topic, I think it's the "approach" of the people who regularly involve themselves in these threads that scare others off, whether it's intentional or not, I can't really say. I enjoy reading your posts, even if you will no longer be contributing to them. I do hope to hear more from you on these topics in the future.

These are my opinions as to the particulars of this case, unless someone can successfully argue otherwise, we don't have access to all the facts, so it'll be a neverending debate, seems here. What was motivating whom? We can only speculate, even if I read the all 93 pages. Was the test valid? Conveniently, said test cannot even be located, I can't imagine how Sun would prove her point. I won't even deal with the logical fallacy of the "bandwagon" approach. How much can we really ascertain from our easy chairs about this about "what really went on"?

"The white firefighters argued discrimination is discrimination no matter what color it takes, and therefore, the city did violate the Civil Rights Act in not promoting them."

I agree with that argument. Did that occur here? I obviously don't know. Well, this is my criticism in a nutshell. Empowerment movements are exactly of the nature of the evil they are resisting half the time, which is where the complaint about reverse discrimination in part comes from imo, precisely BECAUSE they are blind. Empowering people based off of a gender, or a color, or a sexual orientation or whatever one will come up next, can be racist/sexist/heterophobic etc. precisely because (and this would be my solution to the problem, whatever extreme difficulties would occur in implementing it) it doesn't take "character" into account. A "character" based movement, where gays, females, african-americans, etc. were promoted, to wherever it is they want to be promoted, for whatever reason, rather than a blind promotion of anyone who happens to be female, gay, or of color, IF they are interested in that promotion, and I can't say I always would be, just might go much further towards eliminating the problem all together. A willy-nilly grab for power by anyone who happens to be of a particular orientation does little to solve the recurring human problem they are grappling with. Very little. I'm looking forward to a poltical movement that takes the problem of evil far more seriously than the current ones do, and that's my TIRADE for the day. I'm such a whiner sometimes.


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 5:00 PM

Jeremy, the Supremes are exceptionally bright - EVERY ONE OF THEM.

They leave no stone unturned.

Read the opinions. They didn't miss anything.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 5:02 PM

Sun: Should you happen to see this, Andy's constant misrepresentation and mischaracterizations on virtually any topic is why I don't bother commenting on the substance of his posts any longer. I don't take his intellect seriously because he is so dishonest in what he posts.

Diva, you don't appeal Supreme Court decisions, and I never suggested you did. I sure don't have to agree that every decision by the Supreme Court is correct. Depending on the grounds for the ruling, Congress can abrogate a Supreme Court decision through legislation, and this happens from time-to-time. Supreme Court decisions can also be overruled by the Supreme Court in subsequent cases, and this also happens from time-to-time. A 5-4 ruling is a much better candidate to be overruled than, say, an 8-1 decision.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 5:10 PM

I too hope Sun doesn't leave, especially when her basis for saying she would leave was a basic misunderstanding, thinking that Linda was making a statement, rather than quoting the present administration.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 5:15 PM

Sun, don't leave! (Calling Clevercloggs for one of those "sun traps )

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Tue, 30th Jun '09 5:23 PM

Yes, Sun, please don't leave. i was simply adopting the line often used by Pelosi and the other winners. If I offended you personally, I apologize. And Barry forgot to mention Cloggs, Barnie, Sureyman and others who often start political threads but you keep your focus here it is important right on me

diva305
Diva305  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 1651)
Fri, 3rd Jul '09 12:01 PM

SCOTUS



sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 3rd Jul '09 12:03 PM

Hocus Pocus. bet this thread goes poof!

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 3rd Jul '09 1:03 PM

Sun, you were suggesting that the test should be recast.

I learned this morning that New Haven bent over backwards to assemble the tests in a conscientious, race-neutral way. In fact so done the tests must have favored minority firefighters.

I read this columnist for foreign affairs and look with askance upon his effort sin domestic affairs. Today, however, he offers a quite balanced view of these matters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070202685.html

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 4th Jul '09 5:42 AM

Oh, TSK, you based your opinion in this case on which justices voted for what. So you didn't really weigh the evidence presented in the opinions?

That's what I thought.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Sun, 5th Jul '09 7:27 PM

Oh, my, Justice Ginsburg who would have had the city of New Haven cast and recast the testing until enough black firemen passed with good scores (possibly never then) seems not to have had any black law clerks when she was an appeals court judge. NONE. ZERO!

And at the Supreme Court her clerks do not match the racial make-up of Washington, DC either.

A judge I used to respect.

Now I think liberal HYPOCRITE.




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