Basically, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the city of New Haven should not have thrown out a promotional exam because no blacks and only two Hispanic firefighters would have been promoted to lieutenants or captains.
"No individual should face workplace discrimination based on race," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
They overturned a ruling by Sotomayor and two other judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York.
Speaking for the dissenters, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the firefighters would "attract the court's empathy. But they had no vested right to a promotion, and no person has received a promotion in preference to them."
Ginsburg also pointed out that the court's conservative majority ignored the history of discrimination against blacks and Hispanics in the New Haven Fire Department.
We all know that tests of any kind can be subjective and the point is
nobody, black, white or brown, was promoted as a result of the test.
I also wonder why if two of those who might have been promoted were Hispanic why all the headlines refer to the complainants as white firefighters.
But now the pundits are already saying this ruling proves Sotomayor is
a racist. If she is, then so are Justices Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer,
David Souter and John Paul Stevens. Well that is absurd.
This just shows that it is possible for brilliant legal minds to come up with differing opinions.
And as Media Matters points out it should not be seen as a rebuke of
Sotomayor's ruling. When Chief Justice John Roberts was on the appeals
court, he ruled in favor of a military commission of a Guantanamo
detainee. And this was later reversed by the Supreme Court.
This particular ruling shouldn't be manipulated to undermine her
judgment or her qualifications to be seated on the Supreme Court.