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]