Ricci v. DeStefano
Supreme Court of the United States
129 S. Ct. 2658; 174 L. Ed. 2d 490 (2009)
April 22,2009, Argued
June 29, 2009, Decided
This 2009 Supreme Court decision was a result of alleged racial discrimination with regard to internal promotions of nineteen New Haven, Connecticut firefighters. New Haven city officials invalidated test results when no Blacks scored high enough to meet the minimum score necessary to be eligible for promotion. Therefore, the White and Hispanic candidates that did pass with the necessary scores felt they had been discriminated against based on their race. The city decided not to certify the test results because of the disproportionate number of white candidates in comparison to minorities, and in order to avoid potential liability for discrimination. The Connecticut fire department sued and argued that their rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause were violated. The case was argued in the United States Supreme Court where it was affirmed that the city improperly discarded the exam results in order to achieve a more desirable racial distribution of promotion-eligible candidates. The case was then sent to the United States Court of Appeals for redetermination. Justice Ginsburg clearly does not agree with the idea of race neutrality. She argues whether or not city of New Haven had just cause to invalidate the test. She notes in her dissent that the city is comprised of more African Americans and Hispanics than any other race, alluding to the view that the fire department needed more of these races in commanding positions. Ginsburg writes, “In making hiring and promotion decisions, public employers often relied on criteria unrelated to job performance” and “relying heavily on written tests to select fire officers is a questionable practice.” In reference to employment qualification testing, I am confident that companies will continue to use this...
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