Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mr. Ricci and soon to be Justice Sonia Sotomayor

I read Mr. Ricci's testimony during the Sotomayor hearings today. You have to respect a man who has worked so hard to overcome his disabilities. He is dyslexic and studied very hard to pass the unsanctioned multiple choice test his local Fire Dept. presented. He practiced and did well on the test. I commend him for his hard work. I also commend him for NOT speaking negatively about the honorable Judge Sotomayor (regardless of what the pundits say). He has not said a negative word about her.

In fact, during today's testimony, the 2nd firefighter, Vargas, congratulated Judge Sotomayor for working so hard and for potentially being the first hispanic on the Supreme Court.
I can understand their perspective and I can understand the fact they are focused on their own personal perspectives vs the rule of law. Both believe they passed a valid test and that was the complete process. Both (and all of the firemen who passed the test) believe they deserve promotion based on the test results. I've seen this behavior a thousand times during management/union review hearings. The defendant always thinks from their own perspective
However, from a judicial perspective, one has to remove themselves from the defendant or plaintiff's perspective. The judge takes a step back and reviews both perspectives and the overall process. That is exactly what the District court did when they made their ruling in this case, siding for the City, the Defendants. The facts are, the test was new. The test was out of the Fire Dept.'s standard operating procedures. And this is what the District Court ruled. And this is ruling the 3 judge panel which Judge Sotomayor sat agreed with.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court set new precedence, which is totally different and outside of the realm of which Justice Sotomayor and her other 2 peers on the panel could decide.
All the Senators agreed. Ricci agreed. The Hispanic Firefighter agreed.
The only people NOT agreeing are the right wing extremist shock jocks who continue to belabor this issue and talk so negatively about the honorable Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
Even the Republican Senators agree. Judge Sonia Sotomayor will become our next Supreme Court Justice. That is the will of the Senate. That is the will of the majority of people in the United States.

God Bless America.
God Bless our next Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor


Vicente Duque said...

Dee, You said :

"On the other hand, the Supreme Court set new precedence, which is totally different and outside of the realm of which Justice Sotomayor and her other 2 peers on the panel could decide."

Yes, and the decision of the Supreme Court was split 5 to 4.

Sonia Sotomayor was bound by law and precedent to rule as she and her two peers did.

This Bush Supreme Court is legislating from the bench, and that is exactly what the Republicans abhor.

Many jurists say that the Supreme Court Ricci decision is contrary to the spirit of the law, what Congress intended in the corpus of laws that refer to Discrimination.

That is why they criticize Republican Hypocrisy.

On the other hand Frank Ricci has always advanced in his career using court decisions and the laws of discrimination.

In three previous times, he has used courts to get employment and advance.

There are websites condemning this Bush Supreme Court for using Conservative Activism and Republican Activism in many cases.

That is exactly what Republicans criticize in Sonia Sotomayor.

Sonia is an island of decency surrounded by a Sea of Hypocrisy.

More Information here :

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

Sotomayor said she relied on precedents in the New Haven case but was unable to cite them. She belonged to several racist organizations not unlike others who belonged to "whites only" country clubs. Such membership is inconsistent with the role of a judge and her ambition eventually led her to shed those memberships.

Her public utterances, as someone pointed out, have been inconsistent with an unbiased approach to the law. Fortunately for her, her opinions did not reflect the sentiments she expressed in other forums. The question is which Sotomayor will show up on the high court.

She comported herself very well and obviously will be confirmed but the final judgment of her will have to wait for the record of her votes and opinions on the high court over the rest of her life. She no longer has to worry about bias in her opinions because she like the other justices has a lifetime appointment and can therefore let her real feelings (empathy) influence her opinions. There is little or nothing anyone will be able to do about that if her opinions reflect her nonjudicial persona rather than a studied consistentcy with the law. She has a great opportunity to become one of the greatest jurors of our time by following the pattern of her prior well-reasoned opinions rather than cutting loose in a totally different direction.

We all wish her well and hope she will choose the path to greatness.

Vicente Duque said...

There is a Tsunami of Web Pages against the Ricci decision of the Supreme Court.

Basically many lawyers, attorneys, jurists and critics consider this decision as Judicial Activism. Conservative Activism against Civil Rights, against Minorities.

These Pages seem to me very well informed by Top Brains and Top Think Tanks of Jurisprudence

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a dissent :

Tom's Civil Liberties Blog
By Tom Head, Guide to Civil Liberties
In Ricci, Supreme Court Majority Saw No Moral Complexity
July 3, 2009

In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg takes issue with these claims. First, she points out that the tests' content had been criticized during meetings of the Civil Service Board. One witness stated that the exams "would appear to test a candidate's ability to memorize textbooks," a few specific textbooks that were not necessarily easy for non-white applicants to obtain:

"Some individuals, [two candidates] asserted, had the necessary books even before the syllabus was issued. Others had to invest substantial sums to purchase the materials and "wait a month and a half for some of the books because they were on back-order." These disparities, it was suggested, fell at least in part along racial lines. While many Caucasian applicants could obtain materials and assistance from relatives in the fire service, the overwhelming majority of minority applicants were "first-generation firefighters" without such support networks."

Justice Ginsburg also pointed out that Donald Day, who represented the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, had highlighted at one CSB meeting that the nearby city of Bridgeport used a different testing system which generated more standard, and less racially correlated, results.

Justice Ginsburg also points out some demographic and historical context that is missing in the majority opinion:

"In the early 1970’s, African-Americans and Hispanics composed 30 percent of New Haven’s population, but only 3.6 percent of the City’s 502 firefighters. The racial disparity in the officer ranks was even more pronounced: "[O]f the 107 officers in the Department only one was black, and he held the lowest rank above private." Firebird Soc. of New Haven, Inc. v. New Haven Bd. of Fire Comm’rs, 66 F. R. D. 457, 460 (Conn. 1975).

Following a lawsuit and settlement agreement, see ibid., the City initiated efforts to increase minority representation in the New Haven Fire Department (Department). Those litigation-induced efforts produced some positive change. New Haven’s population includes a greater proportion of minorities today than it did in the 1970’s: Nearly 40 percent of the City’s residents are African-American and more than 20 percent are Hispanic. Among entry-level firefighters, minorities are still underrepresented, but not starkly so. As of 2003, African-Americans and Hispanics constituted 30 percent and 16 percent of the City’s firefighters, respectively. In supervisory positions, however, significant disparities remain. Overall, the senior officer ranks (captain and higher) are nine percent African-American and nine percent Hispanic. Only one of the Department’s 21 fire captains is African-American ... It is against this backdrop of entrenched inequality that the promotion process at issue in this litigation should be assessed."

Tough call, right? If I were a member of the Civil Service Board confronted with this conflicting evidence, I don't know for sure whether I'd throw out the test results or not. Members of the CSB felt similarly--the vote on whether to certify the results was a tie, so the results were not certified.

I am already adding many pages and links of Lawyers and Attorneys, Juridical Experts and Intellectuals against this Bush Supreme Court that is commiting so many sins against Civil Rights and Minorities.

Here :

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

Dee, I published your Article :

"The Bleaching of America"

with the attribution to your authorship and a link to the actual document.

I completely agree with what you post in all your articles and pages, with almost no reserves.

Your article could also have been titled

"Manifiest Against Imbecility"

Laughing Out Loud ( at Idiots ! )

Vicente Duque

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