SCOTUS on the Ricci case
0 comment Tuesday, August 12, 2014 |
Court rules for White firefighters in discrimination case
WASHINGTON � The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a group of white firefighters in Connecticut were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision endorsed by high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
The 5-4 ruling poses a potential complication to Sotomayor's nomination, with confirmation hearings set to start in July. Already, supporters and critics of Sotomayor are seizing on the decision in an effort to defend their stance.
In the high-profile, controversial case, white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., argued they were discriminated against when the city tossed out the results of a promotion exam because too few minorities scored high enough on it.
Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the opinion in favor of Frank Ricci and his fellow firefighters who sued the city of New Haven.''
Some on the right are hailing this as a huge victory, and while it's true that we should be happy for good news wherever we find it, it does not seem clear that this is as decisive as some are indicating.
Here is Jared Taylor's take on it, which is somewhat less celebratory than that of most conservative commentators so far:
Conservatives are heralding the Supreme Court�s decision in the Ricci case as a great victory�and it is true that the results of the New Haven firemen�s exam will be accepted and several whites will be promoted to lieutenant and captain. However, as Justice Anthony Kennedy conceded in his majority decision, the court dodged the central question of whether it is constitutional to discriminate against white people in the name of "fairness" for non-whites. This decision is not even half a loaf for whites�it�s more like a few crumbs.
As Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out in a concurring opinion, today�s decision "merely postpones the evil day on which the Court will have to confront the [real] question," namely whether "disparate impact" is legitimate grounds for throwing out employment standards.
The Court did one useful thing, however. It made it harder to junk test results because of "disparate impact" by saying there had to be a "strong basis in evidence" that the harm this did to whites was justified. But as Justice Ruth Ginsberg pointed out correctly�in what was otherwise a nasty dissent�all this does is set up yet another murky standard that will make it hard for employers to know what is legal and what is not.''
Earlier today I was saying that perhaps these jobs should be assigned by throwing names into a hat, that being the only truly 'fair' way. I thought I was being ironic, but according to Steve Sailer, that kind of thing is already a reality in Chicago, where a lottery is used:
'...lotteries are exactly what cities such as Chicago are already doing with the results of firefighter tests, in an attempt to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission�s "Four-Fifths Rule". This regulation puts the burden of proof in discrimination cases on employers when blacks aren�t hired or promoted at least 80 percent as often as whites.
There�s a reason you don�t see much in the newspapers about cities hiring firefighters by lottery: this method is terrifying to anybody who might someday be trapped in a burning building. So politicians don�t explain too vividly to the public what exactly they are up to.''
Truth is stranger than fiction.
We had a fire last year, and though it was minor, it was unsettling when a group of firefighters arrived, one of their number being a diminutive girl of about 23.
According to some people, seeing a female firefighter should have been comforting to me:
Firefighters say diversity can be especially important in emergencies. Victims may feel more comfortable when they see first responders who look similar to them or understand their neighborhoods, they say.
White members of Engine Company 60 on the South Side of Chicago see it differently. The mention of New Haven drew a cluster of firefighters who said they have seen examples of reverse discrimination and voiced concern that procedures used to increase diversity in the higher ranks may harm the public.''
I agree with the guys of Engine Company 60. I told a family member that I demand to have strapping 6-foot-4 men arriving to fight the fire, rather than a petite girl. The idea of hiring anybody less than the most qualified and the fittest to do these jobs is an affront to society and a risk to human life.
But the Ricci case of course goes far beyond who is hired to fight fires. At issue is the whole affirmative action farce, and the widespread effect on our society of placing people in jobs based on skin color or gender rather than choosing the best and the smartest.
And it has to do with the whole tortured issue of ''fairness'', which the left likes to talk about. To them, ''fair'' seems to mean exacting an eye for an eye. They insist that rampant racial favoritism kept Whites dominant for many years in this country, and to believe this, they must deny that actual racial differences exist. And they believe that 'affirmative action' is a legitimate way to exact revenge or payback.
It's politically unacceptable for them to acknowledge that in the old days, people were generally hired on merit, and the best man usually won. To make merit the main criterion would, unfortunately for the left and their minority clients, mean that the latter would have to compete with Whites on a truly equal basis, and they are afraid this would mean a return to the bad old days.
Obviously, too, this SCOTUS decision does not reflect well on Sonia Sotomayor, as her opinion is again repudiated by the Supreme Court. But this will not deter her supporters, who will spin in in some way to deflect any criticism of her by Republicans.

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