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Supreme Court overturns Sotomayor, an opening for Republican critics (full text)

New Haven firefighters who won victory in the Supreme Court on a claim of reverse discrimination

The Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 for white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., who qualified for promotions by doing well on a test that the city later threw out because black firefighters did not.

Ordinarily, that would make for an interesting news bulletin, another round in the cultural debate over discrimination, affirmative action and the fairness of testing.

But this case will get a lot more attention, if only because federal  Judge Sonia Sotomayor -- the first nomination President Obama has made to the Supreme Court -- was one of three judges to rule against the white firefighters.

True, the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision found the usual suspects on their expected sides, with Justice Anthony Kennedy casting the swing vote as he often does and Justice David Souter -- on his last day at the court -- ruling as with the liberal wing, led by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Translation: Sotomayor's confirmation wouldn't change the court's ideological makeup.

Still, the case gives conservative critics an opening to accuse Sotomayor of putting her much-touted empathy ahead of her dedication to the rule of law. In fact, even before today's Supreme Court decision, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had homed in on the case, criticizing Sotomayor not only for ruling against Frank Ricci and the other white firefighters but for dismissing their cause in just a few sentences, without explaining the legal underpinnings of their decision.

“In reviewing the Ricci case, I am concerned that Judge Sotomayor may have lost sight of" the distinction between personal views and the law, McConnell said. "As we consider this nomination, I will continue to examine her record to see if personal or political views have influenced her judgment.”

Never mind that the Fourth of July is still a few days off. You can start the political fireworks now.

Click here to read the whole decision in the case, Ricci vs. Stefano (he's the mayor of New Haven).

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: New Haven firefighters dubbed "the New Haven 20"  outside New Haven's federal courthouse in January. Credit: Brad Horrigan / Associated Press

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Comments () | Archives (7)

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I think that most libertarians will just laugh at this; As, it simply proves that Sotomajor is either incapable, or unwilling, to do her job as judge. I feel that someone may want to suggest that she just run for a congressional office since 'they' are the ones who have 'use of empathy' is actually in their job description as they 'make the law'.

OH, big surprise: Judge Roberts votes in favor of white guys.

Give me a break. The Supreme Court under Judge Renquist became the most corrupt institution in the US and that says a lot.

White, Rich, Corporate, or Federal interests win.

Everyone else, begs for mercy.

But lets give him praise: he has given us the gun to kill each other.

Whether the Supreme Court overruled Rici or let it stand, such would not make any difference to the Republicans. They would oppose Sotomayor even if she were a saint. The Republicans are hateful people and now the Hispanics see through their facade. Hispanics will no longer vote for Republicans.

Those firefighters don't look like corporate big wigs to me... they just look like regular american citizens looking to be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

The questions were racially biased!
Sample question: How do you put out a fire?

Evidently some ethnic firemen are not able to answer this question!

What color firemen do I want to put out a fire?
A firemen colored in character!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





“In her suit, Margie Schoedinger states that George W. Bush committed sexual crimes against her, organized harassment and moral pressure on her, her family members and close relatives and friends. As Schoedinger said, she was strongly recommended to keep her mouth shut. . . . Furthermore, she alleges that George Bush ordered to show pressure on her to the point, when she commits suicide” (go to Google, type “blog of drizzten Margie Schoedinger,” and hit “Enter”).

“George [Bush is personally complicit] in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of . . . George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell—Nevada Progressive Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010).

McConnell is correct: Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death.

Bush’s method of murdering Schoedinger cannot exist in a vacuum: he must have murdered other people in the same way.

During Bush’s presidency, of course Bush would have desired to kill people whom he hated or get them out of his way. Insofar as Bush was clearly capable of murdering Schoedinger—even in “broad daylight”—and is clearly capable of getting away with it, in consideration of common sense and the laws of human nature, Bush of course murdered numerous people in the disgusting way he murdered Schoedinger. One can examine public information; in various situations where people who sought to oppose or disadvantage Bush ever so frighteningly ended up “committing suicide”—specifically—Bush murdered them just like he murdered Schoedinger. For example, Bush continuously criminally stalked James Howard Hatfield to the point that he could not get away from it, and he committed suicide in desperation to escape: Bush murdered Hatfield. However, the vast majority of such scandalous information will never come out (the grisly details are typically hard to substantiate). A prosecutor really can lawfully charge a former president with murdering one or more people in the disgusting way Bush murdered Schoedinger. The American people unfortunately live in a world where evil presidents can murder any number of people—figuratively—with a wave of a magic wand and get away with it.

(There are thousands of copies of the information above on the Internet. Please feel free to go to any major search engine, type “GEORGE W. BUSH IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CRIMINAL STALKER” or “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her” or “George W. Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death” or “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked numerous people to the point that they could not get away from it, and they committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered them” or “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked James Howard Hatfield to the point that he could not get away from it, and he committed suicide in desperation to escape: Bush murdered Hatfield,” hit “Enter,” and readily find hundreds of copies.)

(Please feel free to see my “GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY” blog.)
Andrew Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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