This article is very critical of the Bush Administration's handling of the Civil Rights bureau in the Department of Justice, and speaks about the
changes being made by Mr. Holder.
I probably agree with the positions it takes regarding the Bush Administration's practices; however, the changes made by Mr. Holder seem to have a
specific impact in mind.
In July, moreover, the division’s acting head, Loretta King, sent a memorandum to every federal agency urging more aggressive enforcement of
regulations that forbid recipients of taxpayer money from policies that have a disparate impact on minorities.
Look at the key words... DISPARATE IMPACT
. If that phrase sounds familiar, it was the center piece of the fire fighter case decided by
Sotamayor. What it means is that if you CANNOT prove specific acts of discrimination, you can argue that it looks like discrimination.
Example: Neighborhood has an excellent grade school. It happens to be in a well to do middle class area, and there aren't many African American
students. School in the next neighborhood over doesn't do so well on test score or graduation rates. This below average school is in a poor,
predominately minority neighborhood. Even though no one can show some discriminatory practice such as spending more money on one school or having more
qualified teachers at the better school, some Court can decide that there is a disparate impact and will order the kids from the nice neighborhood
bused into the bad neighborhood and vis versa.
The Sotamayor case: A group of fire fighters all take the same test which is not in any way designed to favor one race over the other. A group of
white fire fighters scores well on the test and the African American fire fighters who take the test do poorly.
There is ZERO evidence that the test was designed to generate this result. Sotamayor decides that since the black fire fighters did not score high,
there was a disparate impact and the city was right to through out the results.
May be it had nothing to do with race... perhaps the white guys wanted it more than these particular black fire fighters. May be a group of more
motivated black fire fighters would have scored higher than the white guys?
May be these particular black fire fighters were already inferior because they were hired based upon affirmative action and not merit and therefore
were predisposed to doing poorly on the test.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying whites are smarter than blacks, perhaps the smarter black guys decided not to run into burning buildings, may be
they decided to become doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc...
Disparate impact litigation is just this fuzzy. Its really a socialist type of legal theory. It fits the redistribution of the wealth agenda of Obama
(visit the link for the full news article)