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Supreme Court Sides With Firefighters In Race Case

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On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 that the city of New Haven, CT, violated Title VII when it discarded the results of promotion tests on which white candidates had outperformed minority candidates.


Some of the white and Hispanic firefighters who likely would have been promoted based on their good test performance sued the city, alleging that they were discriminated against based on their race. The city argued that if it had certified the test, it could have faced a Title VII disparate-impact lawsuit from the minority firefighters. While the lower courts sided with the city, the Supreme Court did not. Said the Court: "Fear of litigation alone cannot justify the city's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions."


The Supreme Court held that the city did not have a "strong basis in evidence" to believe it would be subject to disparate-im...(register to read more)

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