An Analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Ricci v. DeStefano: The New Haven Firefighter’s Case

Source: Charles E. Mitchell, Public Personnel Management Vol. 42 no. 1, March 2013
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From the abstract:
Almost 6 months after winning their U.S. Supreme Court case, a group of New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters celebrated their victory in grand style. The decision in Ricci v. DeStefano proved that the City of New Haven erred when it denied promotions to White firefighters who fared better on promotional examinations than did minority applicants. This article (a) examines the thrust of the Ricci decision, which involved two competing facets of the same equal employment opportunity (EEO) statute; (b) discusses the mistakes inherent in the testing procedures of the City of New Haven, Connecticut; (c) addresses the involvement of Justice Sonya Sotomayor in the decision; and (d) examines the implication of the decision for public-sector employers using testing procedures of the nature found in Ricci v. DeStefano. The author concludes that the decision underscores the need for use of alternative testing procedures and suggests that Ricci v. DeStefano is but a precursor to further litigation designed to render use of disparate-impact analysis unconstitutional.