Sotomayor = Mainstream; Conservative Justices = Fringe

When President Obama first nominated Judge Sotomayor as Justice Souter’s replacement conservatives howled to the moon about her fringe judicial tendencies, her reliance on empathy to make legal decisions, and her refusal to accept legal precedent. In order to prove many of these points conservatives pointed to Sotomayor’s “radical” ruilling in Ricci v DeStefano were the city of New Haven threw out a promotions test after they concluded that the test was biased against minorities.

OMG!

REVERSE RACISIM!

FRINGE OF THE JUDICIAL SPECTURM!

Well yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on Ricci overturning it 5-4, split among ideology lines.  But the delicious irony in the ruiling is that it ignores the long standing legal precedent applied by the majority of judges in favor of their empathetic judicial activism. In other words, Conservatives on the Supreme Court would up doing everything conservative politicians frequently accused Sotomayor, and other liberals, of doing. But in reality it was Sotomayor who followed precedent and ruled along with the mainstream.

Yay, legislating from the bench!

But hey, don’t hate on the democrat? Ramesh Ponnuru said the same thing today.

ALSO: read Glen Greenwald’s amazing Salon article on Ricci here!

Does the Ricci Ruiling Harm Business Interests?

Ilya over at Volokh Conspiracy has a good post on a subject I touched on earlier. Namely, that the Ricci’s ruiling kind of screws businesses and minorities in one fell swoop:

The Court’s ruling makes life more difficult for employers trapped between the Scylla of Title VII disparate impact liability and the Charybdis of “disparate treatment” suits by white employees (“disparate treatment” suits are cases alleging traditional intentional racial discrimination). If a business adopts a race-neutral hiring or promotion standard that results in few or no minority hires or promotions, it is potentially vulnerable to a disparate impact lawsuit. As several Supreme Court cases make clear, that can happen even if the business was not intentionally trying to disadvantage minorities. But if the business adopts race-conscious measures to try to shield itself from liability (e.g. – by practicing affirmative action, adopting a standard that is more favorable to minority applicants, and the like), it opens itself up to “disparate treatment” lawsuits by whites, such as one the filed by the New Haven firefighters in Ricci.

As I mentioned earlier, the irony in the Ricci ruling  is that it more or less makes it illegal to either prevent discrimination or remedy it, in all but a handful of cases. The major failing of the court comes not only from its incorrect decision but also from the vaguness in its decision. Justice Kennedy in the majority opinion states that the disparate impact clause of  Title VII, can only be invoked in a narrow set of circumstances where there is over whelming evidence that a  particularly minority group disporportionately experienced a negative outcome a. But considering that ZERO African American’s qualified for promotion and the stated evidence that a fair amount of White candidates recieved advance tips and assistance, its hard to imagine any case meeting this vague standard.

It’s Not Discrimination to Fight Discrimination: The Supreme Court on Ricci

I hope to write a long detailed post about the recent Supreme Court ruling on Ricci v DiStefano. If I don’t someone give me a kick in the ass to remind me.

But in the mean time, you’ll have to settle for this brief point.

One of the main arguments against the city of New Haven, is that they threw out the test because they feared getting sued. That however misses two important points.

First, the City of New Haven , IE the Mayor, didn’t throw out the tests, the Civil Service Board (CSB) threw out the test.*

Second, and more importantly, CSB didn’t throw out the test because they feared getting sued. They threw out the test after extensive analysis lead them to believe they had violated Title VII and would lose an impending lawsuit. But this process is no different than the normal process would’ve been had overt discrimination existed.

The real irony, probably intentional, is that conservatives on the Supreme Court have indirectly ruled that it’s essentially illegal to remedy instances of discrimination. (Let me know if anyone needs me to clarify this last point)

The CSB board voted 2-2 in favor of certifing/not certifing the test. A tie results in non certification*

This…Is… A SEQUEEEEL: Is A 300 Sequel On It’s Way?

It looks as if this thing is very real:

I know for a fact that Frank [Miller] is writing right now,” says Snyder, who explains that the plan is for Miller to create the story as a comic book first, “[He’s] drawing away and seems to be knee-deep in it. I think he’s going to head back to Greece again and do another reconnaissance.”

I’m curious to see what direction Miller plans on taking a 300 sequel. At the end of 300 we saw that the Spartan army had mobilized in preparation to fight take on the Persians, so I guess there’s a hook. But I would hope that Miller could think of a unique approach to another 300 movie. Sure watching more 300 badass action would be nice, but I hate pointless sequels.

My suggestion. 300…zombies!

Think about it. Sells itself.