The Supreme Court has ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut, were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.
The firefighters claimed New Haven unfairly threw out a civil service examination because not enough minorities did well on the test, and the city feared a discrimination suit by the black firefighters.
The Supreme Court decided New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion test because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities. The Court held that the city's fear of litigation cannot justify the refusal to apply the test.
The decision will certainly play a role in Judge Sotomayor's confirmation.
The 93 decision is available here.