The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a reverse discrimination lawsuit involving firefighters in New Haven, Conn. WNPR's Diane Orson reports.
In 2003, the New Haven Fire Department gave promotional exams for Captain and Lieutenant. The tests were designed to be race-neutral. But no blacks scored high enough to move up in rank. So the city scrapped the test, saying it feared potential discrimination lawsuits. Nineteen white firefighters and one Hispanic firefighter sued the city in 2004, saying they would have been promoted if New Haven hadn’t thrown out the results. A trial judge dismissed the lawsuit and the New York –based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case in April.
New Haven Mayor DeStefano's office says while the city is not surprised that the Supreme Court decided to hear the case, it remains confident that the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly decided the issue. The mayor's office says the city looks forward to presenting its argument to the Justices.