A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday finds that a majority of Americans disagree with Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling in the New Haven firefighter reverse discrimination case.
Judge Sotomayor’s views on racial matters have become an important issue in her Supreme Court confirmation fight. Sotomayor was on an appeals court panel that upheld a decision by the city of New Haven to throw out a promotional test for firefighters because no African Americans scored high enough to move up in rank.
In a nationwide poll, 71% of registered voters say New Haven was wrong to discard the test. When asked more broadly about their support for affirmative action programs, 55% say affirmative action should be abolished. Peter Brown is assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute which conducted the study. "Whats interesting about this finding is that essentially to many Americans there’s a notion that the statute of limitations has run out on affirmative action and that’s why there’s really not a lot of public support."
Brown points out that polling results can depend on terminology and the way questions are asked. Quinnipiac surveyed an unusually large sample of registered voters, over 3,000 Americans, about their views on affirmative action.