May 25, 2024

The Mind Of A Liberal – No Fair Play Allowed

“No Individual Should Face Workplace Discrimination Based on Race”

Part of the appeal of American culture has always been the sense of fair play and equal opportunity offered by our political and economic system.  What has attracted so many immigrants to our shores for hundreds of years was the notion that, given a level playing field, those who worked the hardest could achieve the most.

This system has worked well, creating a vibrant and diverse American culture in which success is largely blind to race.  No system is perfect, of course, but until something better comes along, it has worked well enough to make America’s economic and social system the envy of many other nations.  Fortunately, but by a very slim margin,  common sense ideas of achievement recently prevailed in a Supreme Court ruling on workplace bias.

Justices Rule for White Firemen In Bias Lawsuit

The Supreme Court yesterday restricted how far employers may go in considering race in hiring and promotion decisions, a ruling that puts workplaces across the nation on notice that efforts to combat potential discrimination against one group can amount to actual discrimination against another.

The court ruled for white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., who said city officials violated their rights when it threw out the results of a promotions test on which few minorities scored well. The case drew outsize attention because President Obama’s nominee for the high court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, had been part of a unanimous panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that endorsed a lower-court ruling upholding New Haven’s decision.

“No individual should face workplace discrimination based on race,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the five-member majority.

The case has been used by Sotomayor critics as evidence that she allowed her personal preferences to influence her rulings

Those who oppose Sotomayor contrasted the court’s 89 pages of opinions, concurrences and dissents with the 134-word summary judgment from Sotomayor and the other judges on the panel. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the Supreme Court’s decision a “victory for evenhanded application of the law” and said that “all nine justices were critical of the trial court opinion that Judge Sotomayor endorsed,” an assertion the White House rejected.

Kennedy said that New Haven’s test — 60 percent of the firefighters’ scores were based on a written test and 40 percent on interviews — properly evaluated what candidates would need to know to perform their jobs, and that it was equally applied to candidates of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

“The process was open and fair,” he said. “The problem, of course, is that after the tests were completed, the raw racial results became the predominant rationale for the city’s refusal to certify the results.”

More On This Topic
On Race, The Slog Goes On – George Will

Although New Haven’s firefighters deservedly won in the Supreme Court, it is deeply depressing that they won narrowly — 5 to 4. The egregious behavior by that city’s government, in a context of racial rabble-rousing, did not seem legally suspect to even one of the court’s four liberals, whose harmony seemed to reflect result-oriented rather than law-driven reasoning.

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