With Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the US Supreme Court liberals have been defending her Circuit Court of Appeals vote in the Ricci case . For example this Slate article by a Stanford law professor, Richard Thompson Ford. Bearing in mind that I am not a lawyer I nonetheless believe this article is disingenuous at best. Ford states:
... the city rejected the firefighter exam because the test violated Title VII, ...
Actually whether the test violated Title 7 is at issue with the city claiming it feared that it did. Ford later states:
... An employer can also discriminate by using a selection process that has a disparate impact—in other words, that screens out a particular group for no good reason. ...
This is just wrong. A test has a disparate impact if it screens out a particular group more than other groups. It is nonetheless legal if it does so for a good (job related) reason. This might seem a subtle distinction but it appears to me that Ford (like some other liberals) is trying to obscure that for the test to be illegal it must have a disparate impact and it must also be unrelated to job performance. The second point has not been established and flat statements that the test was illegal are misleading.
See here for a summary of disparate impact law.
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