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SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

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Land of greed
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SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Land of greed » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:32 pm

Surprised this hasn't been posted already.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31609275/ns ... ite_house/

I think the court made the right decision, it was silly to consider a test non discriminatory then throw it out because enough people of one color didn't pass.

Anyways thoughts ?
I expect the NSG lawyers to chime in.
Also please ignore the Hillary and the Sonia Sotomayor drama.
I really don't care about those and don't know why the former is being heard by SCOTUS or the latter isn't already in SCOTUS. Anyways off to bed I hope a lovely debate grows while I sleep.

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World Vision
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby World Vision » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:49 pm

This ruling continues the oppression of minorities.
MEAT IS SYMBOLIC OPPRESSION! STOP THE MURDER OF ANIMALS! GO VEGAN!

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Soheran
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Soheran » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:50 pm

Land of greed wrote:I think the court made the right decision,


I do not. If we want to have a society that actually has racial equality, we need to take disparate impact seriously.

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Barringtonia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Barringtonia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:53 pm

It's a bit difficult, if everyone has equal access to the test then no real issue should be made of who and who doesn't pass depending on the test.

If the test questions run along the lines of: Are you black Y/N - and the correct answer can only be No, then I'd say the test is not equal. I mean, I'd hope it's not the sort of test that judges on literacy when no literacy schooling is provided for your race.

If there are factors that preclude black people from passing the test, then fine, otherwise I'm not sure it's fair to dismiss it.

This is different to affirmative action whereby poor schooling facilities or environment means someone was not able to reach their abilities, which I support,

Point being, something should not be discarded simply because there's not an equal balance among races unless that imbalance is due to an inherent disadvantage, in relation to that thing, of that race.
Last edited by Barringtonia on Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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World Vision
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby World Vision » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:56 pm

To be black is to start off at a disadvantage, therefore all tests are invalid that do not take that into account.
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Barringtonia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Barringtonia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:58 pm

World Vision wrote:To be black is to start off at a disadvantage, therefore all tests are invalid that do not take that into account.


I don't particularly like that angle, though I sympathise with it, partly I think it entrenches a view without creating a positive change and partly because I think it creates barriers where solutions are required.
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The Alma Mater
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby The Alma Mater » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:02 pm

Is it known WHY the blackskinned people all failed to score enough to qualify for promotion ? Was the test biased, did they simply not study enough because they thought "hey, I am black, they need to promote me anyway to promote equality", were there only 2 participating vs 500 whiteskinned etc. etc ?
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Blouman Empire
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Blouman Empire » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:04 pm

World Vision wrote:This ruling continues the oppression of minorities.


How?
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Barringtonia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Barringtonia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:06 pm

It hired an outside firm to design a test, which was given to 77 candidates for lieutenant and 41 candidates for captain.

Fifty-six firefighters passed the exams, including 41 whites, nine blacks and six Hispanics. But of those, only 17 whites and two Hispanics could expect promotion.


I'm not sure I understand this, in terms of why only 17 whites and 2 hispanics can expect promotion.

I suspect that, where the predominance of those entering firefighting are white, then given 9 black people passed, it should be expected that some are promoted.

I think one of our handy lawyers needs to weigh in here.
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Rolling Dead
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Rolling Dead » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:07 pm

If the Blacks didnt get in because they had shit scores, I feel no sympathy for them. Better luck next time.

That shouldnt mean people of other races can't get a higher rank though.

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Barringtonia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Barringtonia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:07 pm

Blouman Empire wrote:
World Vision wrote:This ruling continues the oppression of minorities.


How?


56 passed, 9 were black, over 15%, yet none are promoted, something sounds wrong.

Although...

..the courts that had upheld the city's discarding of results of an exam in which no African-Americans scored high enough to be promoted to lieutenant or captain.
Last edited by Barringtonia on Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Pope Joan
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Pope Joan » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:07 pm

This just goes to show that our current Court does not deem itself bound by any of its own precedents.

Why, such arbitrary and capricious action can only be described as...judicial activism!
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Barringtonia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Barringtonia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:13 pm

Pope Joan wrote:This just goes to show that our current Court does not deem itself bound by any of its own precedents.

Why, such arbitrary and capricious action can only be described as...judicial activism!


Not sure if you're being sarcastic but it could be argued that the opposite is the case since..

"The Supreme Court clearly had a new interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act."


..under this ruling.

EDIT: I got you :), yes, those activist conservatives!
Last edited by Barringtonia on Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zivenzia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Zivenzia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:16 pm

or maybe they had a sudden burst of common sense?

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Ryadn
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Ryadn » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:23 pm

Soheran wrote:
Land of greed wrote:I think the court made the right decision,


I do not. If we want to have a society that actually has racial equality, we need to take disparate impact seriously.


I often wonder, when cases like this come up, why very few people seem to ask why there was such a discrepancy (barring Barringtonia, who actually did ask). If wildly different results are not due to discrimination or bias, whether intentional or unintentional, to what can they be attributed? Do they think that black people lack some specific gene that makes people good firefighters?
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Zivenzia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Zivenzia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:30 pm

If asked why a particular group does poorly on a test, why is "racism" always the first answer? Is it a truism based on perpetuated stereotypes?

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Heinleinites
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Heinleinites » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:32 pm

I wonder if/how being reversed on this will affect Ms. Sotomayor's expected confirmation to the Supreme Court in any way. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Zivenzia wrote:If asked why a particular group does poorly on a test, why is "racism" always the first answer?


Because it's easy, and people are lazy.
Last edited by Heinleinites on Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Zivenzia
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Zivenzia » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:37 pm

Heinleinites wrote:I wonder if/how being reversed on this will affect Ms. Sotomayor's expected confirmation to the Supreme Court in any way. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Zivenzia wrote:If asked why a particular group does poorly on a test, why is "racism" always the first answer?


Because it's easy, and people are lazy.


Perhaps also because it is the one answer which is guarenteed to get media coverage each and every time it is uttered?

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Ryadn
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Ryadn » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:51 pm

Zivenzia wrote:If asked why a particular group does poorly on a test, why is "racism" always the first answer? Is it a truism based on perpetuated stereotypes?


Unless you believe that people of different 'races' have brains that work in fundamentally different ways, there is no other clear answer for why different 'races' should produce disparate results.

The racism may very well be unintentional. It may be a result of differing culture, SEC, education, language, etc. It may be institutionalized. To say the test was racially biased was not to accuse the test makers or administrators of intentional racism--it's simply stating that there is an inequality at work somewhere, because if there wasn't, the results would not be so disparate.

Now, if you DO believe that people of different 'races' have different brains, there's no real argument anyone can make, because you are obviously not interested in science, facts, or rationality.
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Cybach
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Cybach » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:34 am

If I were a poor Moldovian immigrant with no schooling or education. Would I be lobbed into the "white crowd," or would I be considered a disadvantaged minority which is eligible to minority benefits due to the extremely poor circumstances I emigrated and grew up from? Considering my strong Eastern European accent would make me the victim of a lot of racism, direct and institutional, from Western European descended Americans?

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Blouman Empire » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:42 am

Barringtonia wrote:56 passed, 9 were black, over 15%, yet none are promoted, something sounds wrong.

Although...

..the courts that had upheld the city's discarding of results of an exam in which no African-Americans scored high enough to be promoted to lieutenant or captain.


Is passing the test the only requirement to be eligible for promotion?

And the quote you placed in is important to remember.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Molested Sock » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:54 am

Monday's decision has its origins in New Haven's need to fill vacancies for lieutenants and captains in its fire department. It hired an outside firm to design a test, which was given to 77 candidates for lieutenant and 41 candidates for captain.

118 people sat the exam and 56 passed.
Fifty-six firefighters passed the exams, including 41 whites, nine blacks and six Hispanics. But of those, only 17 whites and two Hispanics could expect promotion.

So lets assume of the 118 people to sit the exam 60 were White, 39 Black and 9 Hispanic, if 56 of the White folk passed they were up to standard, but if only 9 of the 39 Blacks passed, it clearly shows those Blacks were not up to standard.
OF course it should be considered then where each of these Blacks were on the list of those who passed.
What if they were the bottom 9 to pass?

More information is required before it is reasonable to accept that this test is racist towards Blacks.
It should be assumed it is for those with the best skills and attributes for the task of saving people lives and buildings.

The white firefighters said the decision violated the same law's prohibition on intentional discrimination. The lawsuit was filed by 20 white plaintiffs, including one man who is both white and Hispanic.

Interesting that one can be Hispanic and white, what if they were sired from a Black Hispanic parent and a white parent, what would they be?
if one was Black and white what would they be regarded as?
Black methinks, but really shouldn't they all be Americans?

But Ginsburg said the court should have assessed "the starkly disparate results" of the exams against the backdrop of historical and ongoing inequality in the New Haven fire department. As of 2003, she said, only one of the city's 21 fire captains was African-American.

So potentially a much less competent Black person should be promoted just for the sake of racial equality, at the potential risk of efficency and competency.
More so, how many Hispanics or Asians or American Indians are Fire Captains?
100% 80% of the time.

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Eofaerwic
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Eofaerwic » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:03 am

Blouman Empire wrote:
Barringtonia wrote:56 passed, 9 were black, over 15%, yet none are promoted, something sounds wrong.

Although...

..the courts that had upheld the city's discarding of results of an exam in which no African-Americans scored high enough to be promoted to lieutenant or captain.


Is passing the test the only requirement to be eligible for promotion?

And the quote you placed in is important to remember.


Hmm, looking at the proportions of passing versus promotions it looks like they promote the top third of those who pass (assuming it's entirely based on the exam). I can't be arsed to do the exact statistical calculation of the probability that none of the 9 black candidates scored in the top third (and I'll admit I can't quite remeber the formula, A-Level maths was 7 years ago). However, I'd argue that although statistically improbable, it's perfectly possible that, through random chance and normal distribution of ability, that the 66% of those passing who didn't score high enough to be promoted contained all of the 15% who were African American.

This said, I don't think that should mean the possibility of bias should be dismissed, I'd argue that careful examination of the test is required, including use of larger sample sizes (or possibly examination of historical data from year on year if it's been used a lot) to see if there is consistent evidence of lower average scores among minorities, and of course qualitative analysis for any evidence of bias. But if this level of examination indicates that the results from that particular year were due to chance then I don't think you can really justify throwing out the test.

Edit: did a quick Chi-squared test on it - it's not quite significant at the .05 level. Meaning there is over a 5% (looking at the statistic I'd say between 5 and 10%) chance of that distribution happening due to natural population variation.
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Cybach
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Cybach » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:05 am

Eofaerwic wrote:
Blouman Empire wrote:
Barringtonia wrote:56 passed, 9 were black, over 15%, yet none are promoted, something sounds wrong.


Is passing the test the only requirement to be eligible for promotion?

And the quote you placed in is important to remember.


Hmm, looking at the proportions of passing versus promotions it looks like they promote the top third of those who pass (assuming it's entirely based on the exam). I can't be arsed to do the exact statistical calculation of the probability that none of the 9 black candidates scored in the top third (and I'll admit I can't quite remeber the formula, A-Level maths was 7 years ago). However, I'd argue that although statistically improbable, it's perfectly possible that, through random chance and normal distribution of ability, that the 66% of those passing who didn't score high enough to be promoted contained all of the 15% who were African American.

This said, I don't think that should mean the possibility of bias should be dismissed, I'd argue that careful examination of the test is required, including use of larger sample sizes (or possibly examination of historical data from year on year if it's been used a lot) to see if there is consistent evidence of lower average scores among minorities, and of course qualitative analysis for any evidence of bias. But if this level of examination indicates that the results from that particular year were due to chance then I don't think you can really justify throwing out the test.


But Hispanics are up for promotion and they're a minority? So where is the bias? Especially considering Hispanics often come from poorer surroundings than Africa-Americans.

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Mortshnefran » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:13 am

World Vision wrote:This ruling continues the oppression of minorities.


ahh "bullshit".
if you cant pass a test, you dont know the material simple as that. now if you want to argue that the education system and society are guilty of discrimination that's a different thing. presumably this tested for knowledge necessary to do what was required of the positions. if you dont have the knowledge then why should you get the position. i dont want a doctor who was able to pass lower requirements, and i don't want the admin of the fire department to either.

World Vision wrote:To be black is to start off at a disadvantage, therefore all tests are invalid that do not take that into account.


to be born poor is a disadvantage. to be born black while im sure shitty at times because of other people is not.

on the second part, take women in combat. i believe women should absolutely be able to if they want and if they pass the same tests that a man has to. if some women or most women cant pass then that makes them invalid for the position, not the test.
Last edited by Mortshnefran on Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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