Monday, June 29, 2009

Good conclusion for New Haven firefighters.

Just read this on CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court sided Monday with white firefighters in their workplace discrimination lawsuit, a divisive case over the role race should play in job advancement. In the split 5-4 vote, a majority of the justices ruled that the city of New Haven, Connecticut, improperly threw out the results of promotional exams that officials said left too few minorities qualified. Only one Latino and no African-American firefighters qualified for promotion based on the exam; the city subsequently decided not to certify the results and issued no promotions. A group of 20 mostly white firefighters sued, claiming "reverse discrimination." High court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor heard the case on her federal appeals court last year and sided with the city. The Supreme Court was being asked to decide whether there was a continued need for special treatment for minorities, or whether enough progress has been made to make existing laws obsolete, especially in a political atmosphere where an African-American occupies the White House. "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," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority. The case has received added attention because Sotomayor was on the appellate court that dismissed the appeal of 19 white and one Latino firefighters. Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in February 2008 to uphold a lower court decision supporting New Haven's decision to throw out the results. In June 2008, Sotomayor was part of a 7-6 majority that denied a rehearing of the case by the full court. Legal analysts said they expected Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee will want to ask Sotomayor about her role in that case, as well as her comments about ethnicity and the bench. Souter bids farewell Also Monday, retiring Justice David Souter said goodbye to his Supreme Court colleagues in a brief statement he read from the bench, saying they had "touched me more than I can say." The 69-year-old justice said he is looking forward to his retirement in New Hampshire, but would retain fond memories of "the finest moments in my life." The court is in recess until early September.


I think that's a very good question asked, are current laws (affirmative action for instance) obsolete now? In an era where an African American occupies the White House, and he's being treated like any other (supremely popular) President. We don't need to un-level the playing field for minorities anymore (speaking as a Latino here), this argument that these exams are some how racist is just absurd. Trust me, anyone that puts their efforts into studying for these exams can and will succeed, whether the test is given in written or oral form is not the issue. I'm very glad that we're finally (slowly) begging to realize that identity politics doesn't end racism, it perpetuates it.