I am very pleased with the recent Supreme Court decision in the Ricci v. DeStefano case in which seven Connecticut firefighters charged the New Haven Fire Department with reverse racism. Interestingly, today’s decision overruled a previous lower court decision handed down by Supreme Court nominee Judge Sotomayer as part of a three judge panel.
Monday, June 29, 2009
White firefighters win Supreme Court appeal
By MARK SHERMAN
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.
The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide and make it harder to prove discrimination when there is no evidence it was intentional.
New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.
The ruling could give Sotomayor’s critics fresh ammunition two weeks before her Senate confirmation hearing. Conservatives say it shows she is a judicial activist who lets her own feelings color her decisions. On the other hand, liberal allies say her stance in the case demonstrates her restraint and unwillingness to go beyond established precedents.
Coincidentally, the court may have given a boost to calls for quick action on her nomination.
The court said it will return Sept. 9 to hear a second round of arguments in a campaign finance case, and with Justice David Souter retiring there would be only eight justices unless Sotomayor has been confirmed by then.
In Monday’s ruling, Justice Anthony 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.” He was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
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 Souter, Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg’s dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday. Speaking dismissively of the majority opinion, she predicted the court’s ruling “will not have staying power.“
I have made many efforts on this blog to defend my decision AGAINST affirmative action. I believe that it began in a time when it was neededbut has now become distorted and a tool of reverse racism. Ginsberg says that the white firefighters “had no vested right to promotion”. If that is the case why were the promotions given to African Americans who could obviously not pass the test. Does merely being African American give a fire fighter the right to a promotion? As Justice Kennedy stated, you should not deny a white person’s right to a promotion because you are afraid of being sued by minorities who may be less qualified. This is where my problem with affirmative action begins. If a woman or minority is hired or promoted simply because of their race or gender, you are not really advancing them. You are perpetuating the idea that they are weaker than the majority and need help. Affirmative action is only a license to say you cannot climb that high on your own, so let me help you a little bit. In the end it all evens out right? After all whites have so many more advantages.
How many voted for Obama during the Democratic primary knowing that Hillary Clinton was the more qualified candidate? Yes she was a woman, but she was a white woman and he was a black man. It is like a game of cards…race and gender cards. Race trumps gender and many voters did not want to “see the same ol’ white faces” in the White House including Hillary Clinton’s. It was all just dandy because it was time for diversity and Hillary was just on the wrong side of the diversity issue.
Yesterday’s “Sunday Soliloquy” touched on this Obama nation myth of a “post-racial America” . We are now told that Obama is our president, he is of color and there is no more racism. So really there should no longer be a need a for affirmative action. Obama won the election- a sure sign that we can trust white Americans to uphold ideas of diversity, women’s rights and racial equality. White America help put Barack Obama into the work force and they will continue to practice this by hiring people who aren’t white men.
The dissenting opinion in the Ricci case and the subsequent liberal criticism tells a quite a different story. We have a black president, two black former Secretaries of State, black Supreme Court Justices, female justices, etc. . Is it still true that we need help to get where we are going? If the answer is yes, then when won’t we need help? Will it be when we have had three African American presidents or six? One female president? One Jewish president?
As a black woman when will the government think I can walk on my own two feet? I have an education. I am articulate (snark). I can get a job on my own. I did. I have, I think.
I hate that doubt in the back of my mind. That doubt that I am not where I am because of what I can do but rather what my race means I can’t do. That is what being black meant for my mother and grandmother. Being black means what you cannot do. Color is a like a preventative film or a condom that keeps you from really “making it” . You feel socially and politically impotent as a woman or a person of color so you need some affirmative action. Social justice in the form of government Viagra. YES WE CAN MAKE IT with that extra stroking and lubricant and we can just slide right in there. That’s affirmative!!!!
Autographed Letter Signed,