Supreme Court Overturns Sotomayor’s Ricci Decision; Conservatives Rejoice

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In a 5-4 decision–in which Anthony Kennedy was once again the swing vote–the Supreme Court has rejected a decision by Sonia Sotomayor and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, finding that the city of New Haven’s promotion policy for firefighters, amounted to discrimination against whites. The city had tossed out a promotions test on which black firefighters performed poorly, prompting a number of white firefighters to sue.

The ruling can be found here (PDF). This move could reignite the fight over Sotomayor, who Obama nominated to the Supreme Court this spring. Conservatives have repeatedly cited the case–Ricci v. Destefano–as evidence that the New York judge would favor minorities in her decisions as an Associate Justice.

Already, the RNC has released a “Research Briefing” called “Reaching on Ricci” in which they allege that Sotomayor has now had seven of her decisions go before the High Court, and the Court has agreed with her reasoning only once.”

To reach that ratio, though, they cite one case–Knight v. Commissioner–in which the lower court’s ruling was upheld.

Conservative groups and Sotomayor supporters alike will be weighing in throughout the day. We’ll let you know what they have to say.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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