Supreme Court ruling will protect qualified whites and Blacks

By Sinclere Lee

I am like most Blacks in this country; I believe that affirmative action is a good method to redress past racial discrimination in hiring and college admission. However, what was designed to address past discrimination has been turned into a scheme to hire and protect a bunch of unqualified Blacks at the expense of qualified whites and Blacks in America. As a result, the Supreme Court ruling that recently came out will protect qualified whites and Blacks from the hiring of incompetent Blacks.

Overturning a decision by high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that New Haven, Connecticut discriminated against a mostly white group of firefighters, who were denied promotions because of race. By a 5-4 vote and splitting along conservative and liberal lines, the justices overturned a ruling for the city by a U.S. appeals court panel that included Sotomayor, who is President Barack Obama's nominee to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.

At issue in the case was whether a city can throw out the results of a firefighter promotion exam after it yielded too many qualified white applicants and no acceptable Black candidates and the high court ruled it cannot.

The problem with unqualified Blacks being hired and promoted to positions they don't deserve is that the Blacks who get the undeserved promotions end up being worse that the most racist whites — just to keep the jobs. They got the job only because they are Black. ... And, what do they do? They go out and mistreat their own people to keep a job they got because they're Black. You go figure that out!

The appeals court's ruling in the New Haven case is expected to be a focus of questioning by Republicans at Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearing scheduled for next month.

In the New Haven case, civil rights groups said the ruling could affect promotion policies for employers nationwide, many of which operate under "affirmative action" programs designed to foster diversity and redress past discrimination. Howerver, as of this writing, I have not heard one Black American speak-up in behalf of one Black cop or Black firefighter.

The Supreme Court ruled for a group of 19 white firefighters and one Hispanic firefighter who filed a lawsuit in 2004 against New Haven. Writing the court's majority opinion and reading it from the bench on the last day of the term, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the city's action in discarding the tests violated federal civil rights law.

The firefighters said they would have been promoted if the city had not thrown out the tests for lieutenant and captain because no blacks had scored high enough to move up in rank. The dispute was one of two major civil rights cases that reached the Supreme Court after Obama became the nation's first Black president.

In the other case last week, the court declined to decide a constitutional challenge to the Voting Rights Act that seeks to ensure access to the polls by minorities, ruling narrowly that political subdivisions in a state can apply to be exempted from the law.

Since 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. 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 in which an African-American occupies the White House.

"The city rejected the test results solely because the higher scoring candidates were white," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority. "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."

In a dissent read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned the fairness of the test, which was 60 percent written and 40 percent oral.

"Relying so heavily on pencil-and-paper exams to select firefighters is a dubious practice," Ginsburg said, calling the majority ruling "troubling."

"Congress endeavored to promote equal opportunity in fact, and not simply in form. The damage today's decision does to that objective is untold," she said.

Key plaintiff Frank Ricci and others took promotional exams in 2003 for lieutenant and captain positions that had become available in New Haven.

When the results came back, city attorneys expressed concern about the results, and the New Haven corporation counsel — after several public hearings — refused to certify the test, and no promotions were given.

The city said that under a federal civil rights law known as Title VII, employers must ban actions such as promotion tests that would have a "disparate impact" on a protected class, such as a specified race or gender.

The Obama administration took a nuanced position on the appeal. A Justice Department lawyer told the high court that while the federal government supported the city's discretion to nullify the test results, it also believed the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed on a limited basis.

Kennedy argued that "the process was open [and] fair" and that the city officials "were careful to ensure broad racial participation in the design of the test itself and its administration."

He added that "race-based action like the cities in this case is impermissible under Title VII unless the employer can demonstrate a strong basis in evidence that, had it not taken the action, it would have been liable" under the law dealing with "disparate impact." While the Supreme Court used the same laws and rationale that was used to fight racial discrimination against Black during the Civil Rights era, it only proves that there is an erosion of civil rights in the Roberts' Court. As a result, the conservative block on the court is sending them house Niggers back to the fields. I ain't mad at them racists on the Supreme Court, if they put you rotten ass Niggers out in the cold.

Kennedy said the city had not met that threshold. Most cities hire these incompetent Blacks only because they're Black. Because if they were hired for what they knew, they wouldn't have problems passing promotion tests. In other words, they didn't deserve the jobs in the first place!

Consider this; if your life were on the line (be it a fire in your house or someone trying to break into your home) who would you want coming to your aid? a white person who was competent or a Black who was incompetent.

The case has received added attention because Sotomayor was on the appellate court that dismissed the appeal. Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in February 2008 to uphold a lower court decision supporting New Haven's move 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 expect Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee will want to ask about her role in that case as well as her comments about ethnicity and the bench.

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 said he would retain fond memories of "the finest moments in my life."

I know most Blacks in this country are like me, and want to support other Blacks on jobs in the fire and police departments across this country, but how can we support you when you are out there mistreating US? It's counter-intuitive!

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