Despite writing a personal finance blog, I enjoy chatting up politics and I think I have been very open about my political views, which are basically libertarian in nature. I generally believe the government is a necessary evil and as such I want to keep it as small as possible. The way I look at it I don’t want the government involved in my business affairs as much as I do not want them inhibiting what I (and the founding fathers) consider inalienable rights (by the way I just wrote that Retirement is not an inalienable right).
I dislike the idea of affirmative action in this Country in the year 2009, and truly believe how it is used today is not what Congress and the Supreme Court envisioned those many years ago.
Imagine sitting in a Constitution Law II class with half the room being women, a good portion of them Black, and a liberal liberal Professor – and you are a white Christian Male and you raise your hand to talk about reverse discrimination of white males. It was a scary time for My Journey…but I didn’t care and neither should you. Well today I got some reprieve!
Ricci v. DeStefano – The New Haven 20
Today the United States Supreme Court gave their Opinion (read: Decision) in the case of Ricci v. DeStefano. The Case surrounds a group fondly known as the New Haven 20, a group of 20 Firefighters who studied their a** off and did well enough on a test to get promoted, but the City of New Haven decided to throw out the exam because no African Americans did well enough on it. Yeah read that over again, seems almost unreal.
The Wall Street Journal wrote today,
Writing for a 5-4 majority in Ricci v. deStefano, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the city of New Haven violated civil-rights law when it threw out firefighter promotional exams because more whites than blacks or Hispanics had passed the tests. New Haven claimed it had to junk the tests because certifying the results would lead to an avalanche of lawsuits by black candidates who hadn’t passed. In other words, the city claimed it had to intentionally discriminate against white candidates out of fear that the tests unintentionally had a “disparate impact” against minorities.
But the Court found no evidence that the tests were flawed or that better alternatives for promotion existed. On the contrary, employment tests are an important tool against the very kind of racial discrimination that civil-rights laws were designed to prevent. “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,” Justice Kennedy wrote. The Supremes created this “disparate impact” reverse discrimination incentive with its 1971 Griggs decision, since codified into law, but at least five Justices are still able to object to this kind of blatant racial injustice.
As a brother of a Firefighter (also white Christian Male) I have watched my brother study is butt off for the lieutenants’ test for the FDNY. My Brother has put as much work as I did for the New York State Bar Exam, and if my test was thrown out because some people, albeit minorities, did worse than me, I know I may be a ‘tad upset.’ Meanwhile, all this studying occurs while holding a full time job which includes running into burning buildings (as most law school graduates know – I didn’t do anything while studying for the bar except…study).
How this ruling will play out as we move forward will be interesting. Are we finally seeing an end to affirmative action? Probably not, but thankfully it may end the practice of just promoting minorities because of their ethnicity, color, and/or race (wow, doesn’t this seem like an MLK Speech?).
The Opinions (multiple Justices made statements) total about 93 pages, and were released Monday morning so I have not had the time read them, as such, I am not ready to start ripping on Sotomayor which has been going around the news lately. However, from the news stories I have read thus far, both the majority and dissent have been less than complimentary of the Supreme Court Nominee who was part of the lower court which was reversed.
Notwithstanding this post I don’t think a test would be fair if it only asked questions only whites knew the answer to, but that is not what happened in Ricci.