Sotomayor Overturned 9-0, Ricci Overturned 5-4

Olivia Offner
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Posted: Jun 30, 2009 1:57 PM
A commentary piece in The National Journal sheds new light on the importance of the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to overturn Ricci v. DeStefano. Author Stuart Taylor Jr. explains:
The Supreme Court's predictable 5-4 vote to reverse the decision... does not by itself prove that the Sotomayor position was unreasonable... What's more striking is that the court was unanimous in rejecting the Sotomayor panel's specific holding. Her holding was that New Haven's decision to spurn the test results must be upheld based solely on the fact that highly disproportionate numbers of blacks had done badly on the exam and might file a "disparate-impact" lawsuit -- regardless of whether the exam was valid or the lawsuit could succeed.
Taylor points out that even liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who authored the dissent, objected to Sotomayor's opinion that disparate racial results alone justified the city of New Haven for throwing out the results of the exam. Read the full piece here.