Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:16 am UTC

As well, my impression is that the test is primarily on what the proper procedure is- since it was taken from the materials the city uses- and thus the best officer is someone who knows what SOP is, not someone who is the best at fighting fires.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Indon » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:57 am UTC

ivnja wrote:I'm not going to really jump into arguing the details of the case or whether the court was right or wrong, but I do want to point out as apeman did that if the article is correct, the exam wasn't the only method, although it was the portion with the most weight (and yes, it's also true that an interview may also have limited use in determining firefighting skills).


That "Interview" comment is inaccurate. The 40% was an oral test, presumably covering the same material, as the opinion of the court made clear.

It's 60% written and 40% oral, but 100% administered book-based test.

Vaniver wrote:Ok. So, you can only do things because of discrimination if you have proof discrimination is there? I fail to see how this is a step away from equal treatment under the law.


Removing the ability of organizations to address problems with racism means that wronged parties no longer have incentive not to directly file lawsuit in all applicable cases of discrimination. It's essentially removing the feasibility of out-of-court settlements in a large subset of discrimination cases.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:11 am UTC

ITT: People with no experience in fire-fighting pretending to be experts on testing the competence of fire-fighters. :roll:

Does anyone here even have the slightest idea what's involved in being a fire-fighter? I don't, but I'd imagine it's a hell of a lot more than just putting out fires.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:28 am UTC

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote: I don't, but I'd imagine it's a hell of a lot more than just putting out fires.
And I imagine skills at taking multiple choice tests don't even begin to enter the equation.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby BlackSails » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:33 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:
TheSkyMovesSideways wrote: I don't, but I'd imagine it's a hell of a lot more than just putting out fires.
And I imagine skills at taking multiple choice tests don't even begin to enter the equation.


They dont. Its a good thing that being able to fight fires isnt necessary to be a good manager of fire fighters.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:33 am UTC

I don't see how good test-taking strategies translate to good management, either.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby BlackSails » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:42 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I don't see how good test-taking strategies translate to good management, either.


Its not really management. A firefighter officer needs knowledge of the pertinent laws and procedures governing firefighting as well as the ability to lead others during a fire. I imagine the leadership part is what the interview was about.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:11 am UTC

I agree that knowledge of the laws is important.
My problem, predominantly, was that it was a multiple-choice test. Taking multiple choice tests, regardless of the content covered, is a skill in its own right. Two people with the same knowledge can perform quite differently on the same test, depending on their test-taking skills, so success or failure on a multiple choice tests doesn't necessarily translate to knowledge of the materials covered.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby BlackSails » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:28 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I agree that knowledge of the laws is important.
My problem, predominantly, was that it was a multiple-choice test. Taking multiple choice tests, regardless of the content covered, is a skill in its own right. Two people with the same knowledge can perform quite differently on the same test, depending on their test-taking skills, so success or failure on a multiple choice tests doesn't necessarily translate to knowledge of the materials covered.


Success or failure on anything doesnt necessarily translate to anything else. We make do with what we can. But this is all a bit off topic.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:13 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:Taking multiple choice tests, regardless of the content covered, is a skill in its own right.

How so? :?

(Please be more specific than just, "Some people are good at tests and some people are bad at tests.")
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:47 am UTC

Throughout school, whenever we had a standardized test coming up, our teachers would go over basic test-taking strategies. Here is a page that teaches specific study skills more multiple choice tests, and sells an entire book on multiple choice tests in general.

Beyond that, I can only offer anecdotal evidence. I know that I've done very well on multiple choice tests whose content I was only somewhat familiar with. You can increase your odds by knocking out the obviously false answers, look at the remaining ones and try to decide which is more likely as an answer, look at the relationship between questions. I don't know, it's a hard thing to describe, but there are strategies for solving multiple choice tests that have nothing to do with the test itself.

On the other hand, some people are just bad at taking them. I have a friend who is quite intelligent but who just cannot do well on multiple choice tests. She was like that all through high school, and the same in college. Written tests she was fine, multiple choice tests she always had a lot of trouble. I don't know what it was about them, exactly, that made them difficult for her, but it was the style of the test, rather than the material it covered, that made it difficult for her, despite the fact that she could easily explain the material otherwise.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Lucrece » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:54 am UTC

People that are prone to double-checking tend to have difficulty with multiple-choice tests. There's always that little indecisiveness/plausible reason why your choice might be wrong. In written tests, you don't have to go through this. Your confidence in the material is not indirectly shaken.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:49 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:there are strategies for solving multiple choice tests that have nothing to do with the test itself.

Maybe I'm just thinking of extremely technical and/or esoteric tests, but I find it very hard to believe that you could do at all well on test where you had no familiarity with the subject matter.

On the other hand, some people are just bad at taking them.

Significantly more believable, but then I expect the same could be found with any kind of test. And even if a greater number of people struggle with multiple choice than other testing modes, I wouldn't expect race to be a factor in test-taking ability.

Actually, come to think of it, my absolute worst result in any test I had in uni was a particularly bad multiple choice test. (We're talking a result of about 20% compared with about 90% in a written test for the same subject.) The problems with that test were certainly tied in to it being multiple choice, but I wouldn't say they were because of it being multiple choice, rather because of it being poorly written multiple choice. Those problems also couldn't really occur in any non-mathematical test. (Imagine doing half a page of working-out, finding your answer differed from one of the multi-choice answers by a factor of 1/2, and then choosing that answer under the assumption that you make a slight error in your working out, only to find that the correct answer was "None of the above". FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU-)
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:00 pm UTC

5-4 is insane. One of the white firefighters was dyslexic FFS. Am I to be told that the test is easier for a white man with dyslexia than a black man without dyslexia? Because that is the logical conclusion after saying that the test was biased against those particular black men.

Just. no. That is so... infuriatingly racist against BLACK people.

That particular dyslexic white man put in effort to studying while those particular black men did not, and therefore performed better as expected. It is really that fucking simple.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby apeman5291 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:56 am UTC

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:
TheAmazingRando wrote:there are strategies for solving multiple choice tests that have nothing to do with the test itself.

Maybe I'm just thinking of extremely technical and/or esoteric tests, but I find it very hard to believe that you could do at all well on test where you had no familiarity with the subject matter.
Well, no, but if you have them, multiple choice test taking skills could bump you slightly above someone who knows slightly more than you about a subject. Naturally, you'd both know enough about it to pass the test anyway, but test taking skills would make it seem like you knew more. In this case, that means you getting the promotion and the person who could be more qualified not getting the promotion.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:09 am UTC

thc wrote:5-4 is insane. One of the white firefighters was dyslexic FFS. Am I to be told that the test is easier for a white man with dyslexia than a black man without dyslexia? Because that is the logical conclusion after saying that the test was biased against those particular black men.

Just. no. That is so... infuriatingly racist against BLACK people.

That particular dyslexic white man put in effort to studying while those particular black men did not, and therefore performed better as expected. It is really that fucking simple.


Of course. We could have avoided this entire five-year appellate process with some clearer thinking up front. Never mind that the test results outright excluded any black firefighters from the possibility of promotion. Never mind that the Civil Service Board held five hearings on the test results before deciding to cancel them. Never mind that spending time and money to study for the test is itself evidence that the test measures factors other than direct qualifications for the job. Never mind that even organizations that have specialized in producing tests several times a year for decades have trouble avoiding racial bias. Never mind that four of the finest legal scholars in the country flatly disagree with you. Never mind that the five who agree took 54 pages to describe their opinions on the case. Never mind that SCOTUS cases involve complex and nuanced legal concepts, most of which take decades of work and experience to apply, and that none of these concepts involve anyone's personal sympathy for the plaintiff. We really just needed you to simplify the case into a few paragraphs for us back at a federal district court in New Haven.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby apeman5291 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:22 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:outright excluded

I don't like this phrasing. You make it sound like one of the questions was "Are you black?" and if you answered Yes you were automatically denied.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:33 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:the test results outright excluded


Results, not questions. The city's promotion policy, coupled with the results of the test, meant that none of the black firefighters would be even eligible for promotion. It may not be proof of discrimination, but I would hope that this sort of result is never dismissed as "fucking simple."
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby BlackSails » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:43 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:the test results outright excluded


Results, not questions. The city's promotion policy, coupled with the results of the test, meant that none of the black firefighters would be even eligible for promotion.


Maybe the black firefighters should have studied harder then. Promotions should be earned, not handed out. If the test was biased, sure, throw it out, sue the district. But there is no evidence that this was the case.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Lycur » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:26 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:the test results outright excluded


Results, not questions. The city's promotion policy, coupled with the results of the test, meant that none of the black firefighters would be even eligible for promotion.


Maybe the black firefighters should have studied harder then. Promotions should be earned, not handed out. If the test was biased, sure, throw it out, sue the district. But there is no evidence that this was the case.


Well, nobody who was black qualified. That's a peice of evidence suggesting bias. There's clearly some room for debate here. And maybe you should have read, I don't know, the first 10 posts where this thing was already hashed out a dozen times?

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:00 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
thc wrote:5-4 is insane. One of the white firefighters was dyslexic FFS. Am I to be told that the test is easier for a white man with dyslexia than a black man without dyslexia? Because that is the logical conclusion after saying that the test was biased against those particular black men.

Just. no. That is so... infuriatingly racist against BLACK people.

That particular dyslexic white man put in effort to studying while those particular black men did not, and therefore performed better as expected. It is really that fucking simple.


Of course. We could have avoided this entire five-year appellate process with some clearer thinking up front. Never mind that the test results outright excluded any black firefighters from the possibility of promotion. Never mind that the Civil Service Board held five hearings on the test results before deciding to cancel them. Never mind that spending time and money to study for the test is itself evidence that the test measures factors other than direct qualifications for the job. Never mind that even organizations that have specialized in producing tests several times a year for decades have trouble avoiding racial bias. Never mind that four of the finest legal scholars in the country flatly disagree with you. Never mind that the five who agree took 54 pages to describe their opinions on the case. Never mind that SCOTUS cases involve complex and nuanced legal concepts, most of which take decades of work and experience to apply, and that none of these concepts involve anyone's personal sympathy for the plaintiff. We really just needed you to simplify the case into a few paragraphs for us back at a federal district court in New Haven.

:|

None of what you said has any bearing on the issue that the actions of the city were ridiculous. And I do mean just that: worthy of ridicule.

You are basically saying that just because someone potentially smarter than me lies on the opposite side of a very polarized issue, then the issue is complicated. California's same-sex marriage ban was upheld in state supreme court by a close margain of 4-3. Three of the finest legal scholars in America probably think "I think teh gay is gross, marry only women." See the pattern? I dare you to tell me that that issue is complicated.

54 pages isn't actually that long, especially considering not only do legal documents need very precise language, but also need to cite precedence, and cmon, it's their chance to ramble and have the whole country listen. Wouldn't you want to write as much as you can?

How about, instead of simply telling me that the case is complicated, arguing from a position of authority, you tell me WHY it is complicated? Because after reading this ENTIRE thread + numerous news reports, it just really isn't.

Also,

Never mind that spending time and money to study for the test is itself evidence that the test measures factors other than direct qualifications for the job.


No.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:56 am UTC

You seem to be under the impression that legal rulings are derived from judges' personal opinions on who deserves what outcome. This is patently false. If you need to use precise language and cite precedent, you are working within a complex legal framework, and the cases which you are deciding are far from "fucking simple."
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:27 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:You seem to be under the impression that legal rulings are derived from judges' personal opinions on who deserves what outcome.... If you need to use precise language and cite precedent, you are working within a complex legal framework

If you honestly believe that, you are incredibly naive. People fabricate reasoning to justify anything that suits their own ideals. I honestly couldn't care less if "legal framework" or existing law is flawed such that it allows egregious moral violation. At any rate, there is more than enough precedent for courts to impose their own will, regardless of existing law.
Also, lets face it, if anything even remotely similar happened at a university or even just an event with more people, you better believe there would be blood.

Professor: "Some of you studied real hard and did really well on the final, but were going to throw out the results and make you take the class again."
Wow, could you imagine...?


...the cases which you are deciding are far from "fucking simple."

The only thing that is not "fucking simple" is the phenomenon that progressive ideology has been twisted from "equal opportunity" to "equal outcome." The fact that people still remain on that bandwagon is sad, but should be expected (ie simple).

Again, just because there is hullabaloo surrounding an issue, does not make it complex. There are bound to be loads of smarty-pants on any side of an issue. By the same reasoning, choosing evolution over ID would be a complicated choice. No, it is not.

It is just not complicated. The city threw out the test as they were afraid of getting sued because they were kowtowed. But being kowtowed is not a good enough reason for enabling blatant racial discrimination (or so the court ruled.)

Yet again, I challenge you - instead of telling me the case was complicated because you have no conviction, SHOW me why this case is complicated. Show me statistical reasoning used to throw out the test, for example.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby BlackSails » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:11 am UTC

Lycur wrote:
Well, nobody who was black qualified. That's a peice of evidence suggesting bias. There's clearly some room for debate here. And maybe you should have read, I don't know, the first 10 posts where this thing was already hashed out a dozen times?


That doesnt suggest anything, the sample size is too small. None of my siblings have gotten into harvard. Perhaps there is some systemic bias against my family?

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:23 am UTC

Yeah, that sounds about as likely as systematic bias against people of color.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Lycur » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:02 am UTC

thc wrote:You are basically saying that just because someone potentially smarter than me lies on the opposite side of a very polarized issue, then the issue is complicated. California's same-sex marriage ban was upheld in state supreme court by a close margain of 4-3. Three of the finest legal scholars in America probably think "I think teh gay is gross, marry only women." See the pattern? I dare you to tell me that that issue is complicated.


The purpose of that ruling was to determine whether the ban was constitutional, not whether it was sensible or right. This was not a simple legal question by any usual definition of the word 'simple', regardless of what your views on whether the ban should have existed at all in the first place are.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

Lycur wrote:
thc wrote:You are basically saying that just because someone potentially smarter than me lies on the opposite side of a very polarized issue, then the issue is complicated. California's same-sex marriage ban was upheld in state supreme court by a close margain of 4-3. Three of the finest legal scholars in America probably think "I think teh gay is gross, marry only women." See the pattern? I dare you to tell me that that issue is complicated.


The purpose of that ruling was to determine whether the ban was constitutional, not whether it was sensible or right. This was not a simple legal question by any usual definition of the word 'simple', regardless of what your views on whether the ban should have existed at all in the first place are.


Actually, you are factually wrong. First of all, singular actions are not declared constitutional or unconsitutional, laws, and statutes are. The purpose of the ruling was to determine whether ignoring the test results was in violation of Title VII of the CRA 1964. That's pretty classy, someone trying to tell me how a case is complex doesn't even understand what's going on. (Furthermore, I'd like to believe "constitutional" and "sensible and right" are (generally) equivalent. Or else, what's the point of having a constitution? To uphold UNsensible and WRONG?)

Cases of equal opportunity CAN be a complex issue, but in this case, it is just not. Again.. for the third time, if you disagree, SHOW me. Show me the controversial statistical study used to throw out the test, for example.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Indon » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

Oftentimes executive actions are analyzed for constitutionality.

And I pointed out what made it complicated - this ruling cripples the ability of organizations to address possible discrimination problems outside of the courtroom.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:25 pm UTC

Indon wrote:And I pointed out what made it complicated - this ruling cripples the ability of organizations to address possible discrimination problems outside of the courtroom.

On the other hand, the ruling cripples the ability of organizations to make racist decisions for fear of litigation.

What you say is complicated is only complicated if your point of view, that the ruling was incorrect, was correct to begin with.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Lycur » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:07 pm UTC

thc wrote:
Lycur wrote:
thc wrote:You are basically saying that just because someone potentially smarter than me lies on the opposite side of a very polarized issue, then the issue is complicated. California's same-sex marriage ban was upheld in state supreme court by a close margain of 4-3. Three of the finest legal scholars in America probably think "I think teh gay is gross, marry only women." See the pattern? I dare you to tell me that that issue is complicated.


The purpose of that ruling was to determine whether the ban was constitutional, not whether it was sensible or right. This was not a simple legal question by any usual definition of the word 'simple', regardless of what your views on whether the ban should have existed at all in the first place are.


Actually, you are factually wrong. First of all, singular actions are not declared constitutional or unconsitutional, laws, and statutes are. The purpose of the ruling was to determine whether ignoring the test results was in violation of Title VII of the CRA 1964. That's pretty classy, someone trying to tell me how a case is complex doesn't even understand what's going on. (Furthermore, I'd like to believe "constitutional" and "sensible and right" are (generally) equivalent. Or else, what's the point of having a constitution? To uphold UNsensible and WRONG?)

Cases of equal opportunity CAN be a complex issue, but in this case, it is just not. Again.. for the third time, if you disagree, SHOW me. Show me the controversial statistical study used to throw out the test, for example.


I was referring to your example of the same sex marriage ban which, y'know, is why I quoted that peice of what you wrote.

Right and wrong are largely irrelevant to the courts decision: they're interested in legal or illegal. What I said is that you're arguing that the courts decision was stupid because the application of the law is stupid, but the court isn't there to decide whether or not what's happening is stupid; it's there to decide whether what's happening is legal. That's the question that's complicated. Perhaps this time you'll actually read what I write?

Edit: this post was a little snarky, apologies.
Last edited by Lycur on Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:39 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:10 pm UTC

But things are so much simpler when you don't read!
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Indon » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:08 am UTC

thc wrote:On the other hand, the ruling cripples the ability of organizations to make racist decisions for fear of litigation.

What you say is complicated is only complicated if your point of view, that the ruling was incorrect, was correct to begin with.


You are wrong.

My point has nothing to do with if the test was actually racist or not. Did you read anything that I said in this thread?

If you view the law simplistically, it will come back to bite you in the ass. The law is not simple. Nor was it simple in this case - because if it was, the Supreme Court would have refused to see the case since it was decided in the defendant's favor based on precedent which was in turn based on the same civil rights law which the court ultimately invoked to rule in favor of the plaintiff.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby BlackSails » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:42 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Yeah, that sounds about as likely as systematic bias against people of color.


For all you know my family is composed of disabled black jewish gay native americans. (Did I miss any groups?)

Regardless, there is no evidence of bias here, there is no evidence that the test was improper, and the courts agree. I fail to see what we are still discussing.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Silas » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:22 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:For all you know my family is composed of disabled black jewish gay native american Vietnam War veterans from Poland. (Did I miss any groups?)

National origin and vet status.

BlackSails wrote:Regardless, there is no evidence of bias here, there is no evidence that the test was improper, and the courts agree. I fail to see what we are still discussing.

Specifically, the problem was that New Haven's lawyers neglected to gather, employ, or present in court, any evidence that the exam was biased. If they had seriously contested the point that "the exam was thrown out because not enough minorities would have qualified," and argued that, instead, "the exam was thrown out because the test persistently (and avoidably) ranked a white firefighter higher than an equally-qualified black firefighter," the lower courts' rulings would have stood up.
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TheSkyMovesSideways
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:31 am UTC

Silas wrote:If they had seriously contested the point that "the exam was thrown out because not enough minorities would have qualified," and argued that, instead, "the exam was thrown out because the test persistently (and avoidably) ranked a white firefighter higher than an equally-qualified black firefighter," the lower courts' rulings would have stood up.

I'm guessing you actually mean to say something like, "The exam was thrown out because the test persistently ranked white firefighters significantly higher, on average, than an equally-qualified black firefighters, and this difference could not be accounted for anywhere other than in the testing methodology."

Now if that statement were actually true (and there's certainly nothing indicating that it is), it might be justified to claim that the test was racially biased. But a small handful of black people doing worse in a test, on average, than a small handful of white and Hispanic people does absolutely not indicate that the test was racially biased.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

I was referring to your example of the same sex marriage ban which, y'know, is why I quoted that peice of what you wrote.

Oh I'm sorry, my mistake. I didn't seriously expect anyone to actually take me up on the challenge, of saying that same sex marriage debate was complicated. How SAD for you. I do pity you.

Indon wrote:
thc wrote:On the other hand, the ruling cripples the ability of organizations to make racist decisions for fear of litigation.

What you say is complicated is only complicated if your point of view, that the ruling was incorrect, was correct to begin with.


If you view the law simplistically, it will come back to bite you in the ass. The law is not simple. Nor was it simple in this case - because if it was, the Supreme Court would have refused to see the case since it was decided in the defendant's favor based on precedent which was in turn based on the same civil rights law which the court ultimately invoked to rule in favor of the plaintiff.

Again, the fact that the supreme court took the case does not mean it is complicated, it simply means that the issue is polarized.
My point has nothing to do with if the test was actually racist or not. Did you read anything that I said in this thread?

You need to take a step back and look at your own position. In your opinion, the city was indeed addressing "possible discrimination problems outside of the courtroom." They were not. They enabled discrimination because of fear of litigation.
[quote=indon]Disparate outcome is not illegal if the test is actually good, or it happens to be bad and has a racist bias 'by accident'.i assume this last part is sarcasm
This judgment severely weakens the ability of civil rights laws to fight "accidental" procedural racism.[/quote]
There is no proof that the test had any "racist bias" even by accident.

If on the other hand, the court had ruled with your position, then from your perspective, there would be no infringement on "organizations ability to address discrimination problems outside the court." That makes it pretty obvious that the issue of "organizations addressing discrimination problems outside the court" depends entirely on the fact that the court ruled against your position, and has nothing to do with the initial decision.

The fact that you preface with "This judgement..." also makes it pretty clear.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby Lycur » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

thc wrote:You need to take a step back and look at your own position. In your opinion, the city was indeed addressing "possible discrimination problems outside of the courtroom."


Perhaps instead of telling people what their opinions are you could actually read what they've written?

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

thc wrote:Oh I'm sorry, my mistake. I didn't seriously expect anyone to actually take me up on the challenge, of saying that same sex marriage debate was complicated. How SAD for you. I do pity you.
From an ethical standpoint, there's a simple answer to the question "should gay people be allowed to marry." That wasn't what was going on, though. Whether or not an amendment, passed by popular vote, should be upheld is not a simple debate. The decision was not "gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry," it was "this legally passed amendment should be allowed to remain." I rabidly disagree with the results, and I don't agree with California's system of a simple majority amending the constitution, but as it stands, the amendment was passed legally. "Fuck the votes, let's do what's right" should never be a simple decision for the government to make.

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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:00 am UTC

thc wrote:Again, the fact that the supreme court took the case does not mean it is complicated, it simply means that the issue is polarized.


Oh, Christ. You really think that's what the Supreme Court is for? I guess this only strengthens what I said about having experienced legal scholars deciding our court cases.
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Re: Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Suit

Postby thc » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:48 am UTC

Lycur wrote:
thc wrote:You need to take a step back and look at your own position. In your opinion, the city was indeed addressing "possible discrimination problems outside of the courtroom."


Perhaps instead of telling people what their opinions are you could actually read what they've written?

Perhaps instead of being a smarty pants, you could instead tell me in which way I have misinterpreted Indon's opinion. There was no "crippling of the ability of organizations to address possible discrimination problems outside of the courtroom" because from my perspective, there was only the opposite of that going on (i.e., creating discrimination problems).

TheAmazingRando wrote:
thc wrote:"Fuck the votes, let's do what's right" should never be a simple decision for the government to make.


Are you serious...? The majority vote should NEVER be used to impinge on the freedom and rights of the minority.

Say, instead that CA banned interracial marriage. Do you honestly think the vote would be the same? Oh wait... it WAS different. 9-0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
thc wrote:Again, the fact that the supreme court took the case does not mean it is complicated, it simply means that the issue is polarized.


Oh, Christ. You really think that's what the Supreme Court is for? I guess this only strengthens what I said about having experienced legal scholars deciding our court cases.
[/quote]

Wow get off your high horse dude. If you want to debate me then DO so and stop with the thinly veiled personal attacks. I have given you AMPLE opportunity to show me HOW this case is complicated. "But it went before the supreme court" is not proof of anything. Off the top of my head, Brown vs. Board of Education. Are you going to tell me that is also complicated?? Furthermore, even if it were proof that the case is complicted, you still haven't told me HOW it is complicated, which means you are just forum trolling. It doesn't even matter if you strongly disagree with me. Without an actual argument, you are just attacking me personally. Come up with an argument, show me HOW the case is complicated, or STOP.

Also, a quote from an article in the NYT: "At the SC, voting alignments are so predictable that 'liberal' and conservative' are as much shorthand as principle. They refer to two groups of four justices each who generally vote the same way.... the court was remarkably poarized in the 74 signed decisions dividing 5-4 or 6-3 in more than half of them..."

So YES, being polarized is a major reason why cases are tried at the Supreme Court level. Polarized is not equivalent to complex, and I have already cited several cases whose implications are (hopefully) obvious to everyone here.


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