Sotomayer’s New Haven firefighters case overturnedPolicy

The Supreme Court sided with the 18 New Haven firefighters who claimed (17 white and 1 Hispanic) who had their promotions thrown out by the city because the city feared claims of discrimination.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the city violated Title VII, giving credence to the idea that reverse discrimination is not a protected action.

Obama’s nominee to the Court, Sonia Sotomayer, sided against the firefighters on the Court of Appeals.

From Justice Kennedy’s opinion

“Whatever the City’s ultimate aim—however well intentioned or benevolent it might have seemed—the City made its employment decision because of race. The City rejected the test results solely because the higher scoring candidates were white.”

“The purpose of Title VII “is to promote hiring on the basis of job qualifications, rather than on the basis of race or color.” Griggs, 401 U. S., at 434.”

“The dissent grants that petitioners’ situation is “unfortunate” and that they “understandably attract this Court’s sympathy.” Post, at 1, 39. But “sympathy” is not what petitioners have a right to demand. What they have a right to demand is evenhanded enforcement of the law—of Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on race. And that is what, until today’s decision, has been denied them.”

  • john harvie

    Chesapeake was guilty of similar specious reasoning and illegal action in its promotion applicants’ case. Maybe their employees will have a fairer outcome next time.

  • William Bailey

    Brian: Thank you. I’m glad to see you didn’t make this a “black vs white” issue as many other media organizations have. It was not a black vs white suit as a hispanic(1) were also sueing in this case. The city wronged those in the promotional process and they need to understand employees of any color are to be treated equal.

    I was happy with the decision today as it hold the city accountable for their failure. As a firefighter, I know there are many folks who only ask to be treated fairly, honestly and equally by their employers.

    Take care.

    Bill

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    William, thanks for the comment. I think the New Haven folks did what they thought was the right thing according to the law. I think they were wrong, but I don’t think they acted maliciously.

    Oddly, this case was so easily decided on its merits, the Court didn’t address the conflict between Title VII and the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. That’s a case for the future.

    This case tells me that discrimination is wrong no matter whom the victim is. That 4 justices couldn’t see that is troubling, but I’m glad it was only 4.

  • Kindest Regards

    SOTOMAYOR SHALL BE AN ASSET TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT.
    _____________________
    SCANDAL! SCANDAL! SCANDAL!

    EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!

    George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her.

    “In her suit, Margie Schoedinger states that George W. Bush committed sexual crimes against her, organized harassment and moral pressure on her, her family members and close relatives and friends. As Schoedinger said, she was strongly recommended to keep her mouth shut. . . . Furthermore, she alleges that George Bush ordered to show pressure on her to the point, when she commits suicide” (blog of drizzten).

    “One of those ‘very leasts’ [was] George Bush’s personal complicity in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of [then] president-elect George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell—Nevada Progressive Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010).

    McConnell is correct: Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death.

    Bush is a racist hate criminal and hates black people (please feel free to see my “GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY” blog). (Schoedinger was an African-American woman.)

    BEWARE: If the president of the United States hates one—for whatever reasons—he can continuously criminally stalk one to the point that one cannot get away from it, and one ultimately commits suicide in desperation to escape. He can murder people in this way.

    Bush is getting away with his murder of Schoedinger—with no sheriff, prosecutor, or court willing to uphold the rule of law.

    Bush’s method of murdering Schoedinger cannot exist in a vacuum: he must have murdered other people in the same way.

    Bush should confess, come out with the names of all of the people whom he murdered in the disgusting way he murdered Schoedinger, undergo execution, and accordingly find himself at the intersection where he would be free.

    (There are thousands of copies of the information above on the Internet. It exists very extensively in all major search engines. Please feel free to go to any major search engine, type “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her” or “Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death,” hit “Enter,” and find innumerable results.)
    _____________________
    Andrew Wang
    (a.k.a. “THE DISSEMINATING MACHINE”)
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    Brian,

    You made a strong point of linking this decision to Sotomayor’s (note the correct spelling – grin) nomination.

    First off it was an extremely narrow majority, 5 to 4. Second, the guy Sotomayor has been nominated to replace, David Souter, was in the minority on the decision. Third, Sotomayor’s appellate court decision was in accordance with previous Supreme Court decisions that backed affirmative action. This decision almost writes new law in how it goes against the direction previous decisions were pointing. I am not saying this latest decision was wrong, only that it blazes a new trail. There is a big difference between being an Appellate Judge and a Supreme Court Justice.

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    David, I don’t care whom she is supposed to replace. If Scalia was stepping down, do you honestly think Obama would nominate someone like him?

  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    Brian,

    When Sandra Day O’conner retired who did George Dubyah nominate to replace her? Even Harriet Miers was not conservative enough. We have four solidly conservative Supreme Court Justices including the Chief Justice. I think Sotomayor stands a lot better chance of being a moderate. While I am most hopeful for at least somewhat moderate nominees, I am not going to be any more upset if the nominee is a liberal then I was by Dubyah’s nominees.

    I will note that while left wing extremists are objecting that Sotomayor might not be liberal enough, Obama is sticking with her, unlike what happened to Harriet Miers.