Skip to comments.High Court Poised To Closely Weigh Civil Rights Laws
Posted on 04/19/2009 4:45:01 AM PDT by reaganaut1
The Supreme Court has an opportunity to reaffirm or reshape the nation's civil rights laws as it faces a rare confluence of cases over the next two weeks, including a high-profile challenge brought by white firefighters who claim they lost out on promotions because of the "color of their skin."
The most emotionally charged case is from the New Haven, Conn., firefighters, whose complaints define the real-life quandary that sometimes accompanies government efforts to ensure racial equality.
The firefighters accuse city officials of violating civil rights laws and the Constitution by throwing out a promotions test on which they performed well but no blacks scored high enough to be eligible. The city responds that relying on test results with such wide racial discrepancies could have violated federal law and left them open to being sued by minorities.
When the results of the 2003 exams came back, only white firefighters, including one who is Hispanic, scored high enough to be considered for the openings for lieutenants and captains. All 27 black firefighters who took the test were below the cutoff.
After tumultuous public hearings, with minority groups arguing that the tests were flawed and the white firefighters saying officials were caving to political pressure, the city's Civil Service Board voted not to certify the results. The promotions remain in limbo.
The city argues that the test it commissioned, in which 60 percent of the score came from a multiple-choice questionnaire and 40 percent from an interview, must have been biased, despite its best intentions. It is not specific about the problems with the test, though it says the exam did not measure "command presence" and should have given more weight to the interview.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
This case is a slam dunk in front of any kind of fair court
You expect the SCOTUS to do the right thing?
If they were in the habit of doing the “right thing” a lot of things would be different in this country AND we’d have a different President today...
The simple question: Did you pass the friggin test or not? If yes, great, if not...get back on the truck and roll the hose.
Promotions because of the “color of their skin.”Thr only reason obama is in the WH and look at the mess he has made in such a short time the msm giggles.
May I translate?
The city believes blacks could not learn the subject matter as well as whites and latinos.
If I were black, I would sue the city for defamation.
If I were one of the failing candidates I would be highly pissed right now. I also would commit myself to actually 'study' for the next test.
Glendower: "I can summon demons from the vasty deep!"
Hotspur: "Why so can I, and so can any man. But will they come when you do call them?"
Glendower: "I can teach you, coz, to command the Devil!"
Hotspur: "And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil By telling the truth. Tell truth and shame the devil."
It's interesting that to liberals results only matter when you're talking about what that color of skin people in various positions have.
In education, health care, welfare programs, etc., results don't matter at all, only intentions.
My bet is the Supreme Court will come through on this one and 15 minutes after the announcement Ruth BadAss Ginzborg will keel over writing on the floor in a conniption fit snapping at people’s ankles
The city could never answer this question honestly:
If the results were reversed and only blacks scored above the standard while whites and hispanics scored below, would you have discounted the test?
We all know the real answer is *no* which would indicate the reverse racism that is taking place here.
Oh, you Pollyana optimist, you.
We are not talking about somebody coming around to read your water meter, we are talking about life and death situations often in very exposed in dangerous places. The firefighter' s risks are many fold those of a policeman on the beat so the hiring of firefighters is not a place for social engineering and for affirmative action. You are looking for action heroes not for models to pose in a Gap advertisement.
It is regrettable that the test in question contained a 40% subjective element which was the interview. It makes the case for the white fire fighting applicants less objective. Nonetheless, we can make some observations.
The Case law as I understand it from this article is that tests which result in statistically discriminatory results are invalid unless they bear a direct relationship to job performance:
At any rate, the city says it was bound by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which requires employers not to rely on hiring or promotional tests that have a "disparate impact" on minorities unless they can show a "business necessity."
So the Constitution requires hiring based on race to achieve statistical balance even in the face of objective tests unless the employer can demonstrate a "business necessity." One can hardly think of an occupation where job performance is more of a "business necessity" than climbing through the fourth story window of a burning building to save grandma.
Clearly, a Fire Department is entitled to rely on tests which result in statistically "disparate impacts" unless the test itself is flawed. This raises the question of the scope of discretion in the employer issuing the test to determine whether it reveals a business necessity. Which is another way of asking, what is the scope of review by the courts? Since this is a civil rights case, all of the discretion and latitude normally given to such an employer or city is very strictly construed and limited. In other words the courts feel quite free to interpose their judgment about what real firefighters should be like because we're dealing with race. The legal question should be, does the test bear a reasonable and rational relationship to its legitimate purpose? If so, the courts inquiry should stop.
So it will all come down to a subjective judgment on the part of Justice Kennedy, just as the Washington Post said.
Justice Kennedy's decision will probably come down to whether he wants equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. This matter stands as yet another reason why I say that all politics in America is not local, but racial.
Justice Kennedy’s decision will probably come down to whether he wants equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. This matter stands as yet another reason why I say that all politics in America is not local, but racial..........
Tribal is more accurate and the most tribalist are Blacks and Hispanics. Whites can’t wait to give it all away and their voting for 0boma proves that America is post racial/post tribal as far as they are concerned. Jews vote for their enemies and whites vote for their enemies. Blacks and Hispanics do not
I can see where a test could be biased to user terms specific to one culture over another. But it seems the burden would be on the party that wanted to throw out the test to show it was so designed. A simple disparity in results in insufficient to prove bias in the nature of the test.
Obama is presdient ONLY because of the color of his skin. Anyone looking at the facts objectively wouldhave to conclude that a white guy with the same tissue-thin resume as Obama, and the same lack of experience, and the same drug use and the same associations with shady characters, would never have got past the first primary.
And it’s not a question of “ensuring racial equality” but is political, and political only, in nature.
“Tribal is more accurate and the most tribalist are Blacks and Hispanics. Whites cant wait to give it all away and their voting for 0boma proves that America is post racial/post tribal as far as they are concerned. Jews vote for their enemies and whites vote for their enemies. Blacks and Hispanics do not.”
That’s a fact. Which begs the question: Which of those groups show the most intelligence when it comes to their own self-interest?
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