May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
June 30, 2009
8 Tamuz 5769
On race, the slog goes on
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.
The undisputed facts are that in 2003, the city gave promotion exams to 118 firefighters, 27 of them black. The tests were prepared by a firm specializing in employment exams and were validated, as federal law requires, by independent experts. When none of the African Americans did well enough to qualify for the available promotions, a black minister allied with the seven-term mayor warned of a dire "political ramification" if the city promoted from the list of persons (including one Hispanic) that the exams identified as qualified. The city decided that no one would be promoted, calling this a race-neutral outcome because no group was disadvantaged more than any other.
The city's idea of equal treatment denying promotions equally to those deemed and those not deemed qualified was particularly galling to Frank Ricci, who had prepared for the exams by quitting his second job, buying the more than $1,000 worth of books the city recommended, paying to have them read onto audiotapes he is dyslexic and taking practice tests and interviews. His efforts earned him the sixth-highest score.
He and others denied promotions for which their exam scores made them eligible sued, charging violations of the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws and of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The city argued that if it had made promotions based on the test results, it would have been vulnerable under the 1964 act to being sued for adopting a practice that had a "disparate impact" on minorities. On Monday, the court's conservatives (Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority, joined by John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito) held:
|FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER|
Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
The rights of Ricci et al. under the 1964 act were violated. The city's fear of disparate-impact litigation was not unfounded, but that did not justify the race-based response to the exam results because New Haven did not have "a strong basis in evidence" to believe it would be held liable. There is such evidence only if the exams "were not job related and consistent with business necessity, or if there existed an equally valid, less discriminatory alternative" that would have served the city's needs but that it refused to adopt.
"All the evidence demonstrates that the City rejected the test results because the higher scoring candidates were white." The city's criticisms of the exam "are blatantly contradicted by the record." And "the City turned a blind eye to evidence supporting the exams' validity" (emphases added).
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined in dissent by John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Stephen Breyer, rejected the majority's conclusions root and branch. She cited a federal report from the early 1970s about discrimination in hiring firefighters, disputed even the "business necessity" of the exams' 60/40 written/oral ratio and defended the integrity of New Haven's decision-making rejecting Alito's concurrence, which dwelt on the rancid racial politics of the Rev. Boise Kimber. Alito concluded that "no reasonable jury" could find that the city possessed a "substantial basis in evidence to find the tests inadequate."
Scalia, concurring separately, said Monday's ruling "merely postpones the evil day" on which the court must decide "whether, or to what extent," existing disparate-impact law conflicts with the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law. Conceding that "the question is not an easy one," Scalia said: The federal government is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, so surely "it is also prohibited from enacting laws mandating that third parties" e.g., a city government "discriminate on the basis of race." Scalia added:
"Would a private employer not be guilty of unlawful discrimination if he refrained from establishing a racial hiring quota but intentionally designed his hiring practices to achieve the same end? Surely he would. Intentional discrimination is still occurring, just one step up the chain."
The nation shall slog on, litigating through a fog of euphemisms and blurry categories (e.g., "race-conscious" actions that somehow are not racial discrimination because they "remedy" discrimination that no one has intended). This is the predictable price of failing to simply insist that government cannot take cognizance of race.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.
© 2006 WPWG
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K