Earlier today, the Supreme Court overruled one of the few significant rulings made by Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor. She ruled in favor of the New Haven fire department’s decision to throw out examination scores for promotion purposes because the scores were unfairly skewed in the favor of white candidates.
Correcting Sotomayor’s ruling, the majority decision argued that although the white candidates performed better than minority groups, there was no intentional discrimination. Similarly, the New Haven fire department was discriminating against the white candidates by throwing out their scores.
New Haven officials who threw out the test could not point out any specific flaws with the test other than the white candidates performed better than minorities.
The Supreme Court corrected this flawed judgment by Sotomayor and the lower courts with which she agreed.
Although this is unlikely to change Sotomayor’s Senatorial approval to The Bench, it was an important ruling for employers who should not have to make promotions based on the fear of litigation from employees.
For Sotomayor, it is yet another warning sign about her plans to use the court as a policy-making tool.