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Thread: SCOTUS overturns Sotomayor opinion in Conn firefighters case

  1. #21
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eildydar View Post
    again Jeff the court was just righting a long time wrong and if Sotomayor wasn't so wrapped up in race she would be able to see that and have made a better decision. The fact that there was ever a ruling to set a precedent like this is a disgusting chapter in our history imo.
    You might want to actually read about the issues before leaping to the conclusion that everything is so black and white. There are two separate doctrines that have been applied and supported judicially with respect to Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964. The first principle relates to disparate treatment based on race. The second relates to disparate impact based on race. Both constitute prima facie evidence of discrimination, placing the burden of proof on the employer to demonstrate that the action resulting in either disparate treatment or disparate impact are not in fact racially biased. These two separate standards have coexisted for a long time. In this case, the test was thrown out because it has a disparate impact. The town did not believe that it could demonstrate that the test was unbiased since the results were the direct product of a weighting of the different parts of the test and that is other weightings were used that it considered to be equally justifiable, the results were not discriminatory. Accordingly the town decided to use the different weightings.

    The law suit was filed and dismissed by the District Court. On appeal, the appeals court, including Sotomayor, dismissed the appeal unanimously in a one paragraph statement (unsigned) indicating that the lower court rejection of the lawsuit was valid.

    The Supreme Court decision ruled, by a vote of 5 to 4, that the town had no right to overturn the test without "a strong basis in evidence" that the test was discriminatory even if it was clear that the impact was discriminatory. This has created a Catch 22 situation in which the employer cannot use the test unless it can prove that it is not discriminatory, but also can't vacate the test unless it has "strong... evidence" that it is discriminatory. In fact, it is at least theoretically possible that if the town reverses itself the black fire fighters could sue based on the discriminatory impact and prevail. It is clear, for example in Scalia's concurrent opinion, that some of the justices in the majority view this case as simply a stepping stone for overturning the "disparate impact" portions of the Civil Right Act whch have been affrimed repeatedly in prior Court cases.

    [Supreme Court decision in Ricci v. DeStefano at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinio...df/07-1428.pdf]

  2. #22
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    I haven't read the entire opinion yet but it seems to me that this is rather narrowly written. Nothing impacts affirmative action. It seems to me that what the court said is that if a test is legally sound, those who score highest can't be denied a promotion.

    In fact, wasn't the case remanded rather than resolved. That means the lower courts will have to solve this in terms of who gets promoted (members of the group may have since retired). One issue, back pay, wasn't even mentioned in the decision so that's an outstanding issue as well.

    It ain't completely over......

    Eric

  3. #23
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    because a certain group of ppl didnt pass the test its discriminatory? seems to me they shouldve tried harder again seems to be righting a wrong that one group of ppl should get the same treatment as others with less qualifications

    another thing if only the black firefighters passed could the white people have sued under those laws you quoted and do you think they would win Jeff. Or does it only apply to one side.
    Last edited by Cody Covey; 06-30-2009 at 12:42 PM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Steve Amrein's Avatar
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    I remember when affirmative action was all the rage. I had been painting corporate aircraft for about 5 years and applied for a job with Boeing. My Father had been with the company for over 25 years and new Sandy McDonnell. I was not counting on any favorite treatment. I had a college degree and actual experience doing exactly the position(s) they were looking for. With the hiring quotas they had in place the job went to a black woman with a GED and zero aviation or painting experience. I talked to the interviewer and he said that as a white male I did not stand chance at getting a job with them. Prolly should have sued
    "Communism only works in Heaven, where they don't need it, and in Hell, where they already have it" Ronald Reagan

  5. #25
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Morning Bell


    TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009


    The Sotomayor Pattern



    Yesterday’s Supreme Court opinion in Ricci, the New Haven firefighters case, provides a window to what will inevitably be a significant line of questioning in Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings. After all, Judge Sotomayor not only reached the wrong decision in this case, allowing overt racial discrimination in protection of what were essentially soft racial quotas, but she did so in a dismissive one-paragraph opinion which seemed calculated to bury the case from future review. Both her dismissive treatment of important rights in this and a prominent Second Amendment case, and the apparent bias that these cases display will likely be fertile ground for questions in her confirmation hearings.
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    In response to the Supreme Court’s opinion, defenders of Sotomayor have attempted to paint her opinion as one showing that she is not an activist. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “Some of the very concerns that members of the Senate have expressed about judicial activism seem to be, at the very least, upside down in this case. Her ruling on the Second Circuit denotes that she’s a follower of precedent[.]”

    The only problem is that it’s just not true. But you don’t need to take our word for it. Clinton appointee to the Second Circuit, Judge José Cabranes, expressed his deep concerns about the dismissive approach utilized by Sotomayor and her colleagues in this case. Far from following precedent, Cabranes, in stating why he thought the full Second Circuit should have reviewed the Sotomayor panel’s decision, stated that “[t]he questions raised in this appeal . . . are indisputably complex and far from well-settled.” (emphasis added). He noted that the case raised issues of “first impression”—that is, questions never decided before by the Second Circuit. So much for just following precedent.

    Judge Cabranes added that Sotomayor’s panel’s “perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal” and emphasized that in cases “[w]here significant questions of unsettled law are raised on appeal, however, a failure to address those questions-or even recognize their existence-should not be the approved modus operandi of the U.S. Court of Appeals.” He concluded with what is perhaps the core of the indictment against Sotomayor’s handling of this case: “this Court has failed to grapple with the questions of exceptional importance raised in this appeal.”

    Regrettably, Sotomayor has demonstrated a pattern of failing to grapple with questions of exceptional importance. In her opinion in Maloney v. Cuomo, in which she found that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states, she tersely declared that a state statute restricting possession of weapons does implicate a fundamental right—the full consideration of which was measured in a handful of words. Like in the firefighters case, she concluded this without even grappling with the arguments–indeed without any explanation whatsoever.

    This is all the more troubling because of her statements embracing personal bias. In the very same speech where she issued the well-calculated and well-quoted assertion about the superior judgment of wise Latina women, she questioned whether it is possible for judges to overcome personal sympathies or biases “in all or even in most cases.” She even seemed to think that ruling based upon these biases is somehow patriotic: “I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society.”

    Given these statements embracing bias, and her embarrassingly inadequate judicial treatment of both the firefighters case and the Second Amendment case, Senators taking up her nomination on July 13 will necessarily need to explore whether her short shrift treatment of serious statutory and constitutional issues in these cases is a reflection of her own biases, or whether, on the brighter side, it is simply an indication of incompetent judging.
    Stan b & Elvis

  6. #26
    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    more bad decisions from would be Justice:http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102710
    Bob Gutermuth
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  7. #27
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gutermuth View Post
    more bad decisions from would be Justice:http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102710

    Well, lets wait till we see what Snopes says about this!!
    Stan b & Elvis

  8. #28
    Senior Member duckheads's Avatar
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    yea, snopes there is a good reliable liberal fact checker! is there any place in the media that the liberals don't control?
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  9. #29
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckheads View Post
    yea, snopes there is a good reliable liberal fact checker! is there any place in the media that the liberals don't control?
    I hope you know I was being sarcastic.
    Every time a liberal gets caught, someone says "Snopes" says the facts are wrong!!

    Who snopes "Snopes??"
    Stan b & Elvis

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