In his statement for the court Judge Antony Kennedy said
"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
I don't like this one bit. How did the City argue this? It wasn’t just fear of litigation that caused the City to scrap the plan. It was the desire to have an integrated command structure in their fire department.
In November and December 2003, the New Haven Fire Department administered written and oral examinations for promotion to Lieutenant and Captain. The City's Department of Human Resources issued an RFP for these examinations, as a result of which I/O Solutions ("IOS") designed the examinations. Under the contract between the City and the New Haven firefighters' union, the written exam result counted for 60% of an applicant's score and the oral exam for 40%. Those with a total score above 70% on the exam would pass.
For the 118 firemen who took the exams, the pass rate for black candidates was approximately half that of the corresponding rate for white candidates:
• The passage rate for the Captain exam was: 16 (64%) of the 25 whites; 3 (38%) of the 8 blacks; 3 (38%) of the 8 Hispanics. The top 9 scorers included 7 whites and 2 Hispanics; given that there were 7 Captain vacancies when the tests were administered, and that the "Rule of Three" in the City Charter mandates that a civil service position be filled from among the three individuals with the highest scores on the exam, it appeared that no blacks and at most two Hispanics would be eligible for promotion.
• The passage rate for the Lieutenant exam was: 25 (58%) of the 43 whites; 6 (32%) of the 19 blacks; 3 (20%) of the 15 Hispanics. All the top 10 scorers were white; given that there were 8 vacancies, under the "Rule of Three" it appeared that no blacks or Hispanics would be eligible for promotion.
So because of the test no Blacks or Hispanics were eligible for promotion. No where is it argued that the Black or Hispanic applicants were unqualified for the position, a favorite arguement of the anti affirmative action crowd, or that their score wasn’t 1 point below the top qualifiers, however for that color blind reason alone no Black or Hispanics were eligible.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes in 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."
Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg's dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday.
Nothing about the cities lawful desire for that integrated command structure, but I haven’t seen the full decision.
Get ready for what’s coming now. Judge Sotomayor is a reverse racist! Now SCOTUS certified. According to the source only Justice Kennedy’s opinion made passing reference to Judge Sotomayor’s work in the case, but that’s not going to matter to the Republicans.
Hot from Rush's evil empire, about halfway in, The Sotomayor as racist meme has already returned.