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Supreme Ct overrules Sotomayer 5-4 in firefighter case

Original post made by Sharon on Jun 29, 2009

The Supreme Court has ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.Web Link


Good move by the SCOTUS and a clear message about the end of reverse discrimination.

Comments (22)

Posted by Thanks, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 9:35 am

Thank God we still have a little bit of sense in the Supreme Court. Can't wait to see..was it 5-4 again? Like with the right to carry ruling that was 5-4?

I surely hope and pray that we are nearing an end to racism in this country, and can get back to MLKs dream of judging on content, not color. If we can get to that, a lot of the problems in this country will finally get better.


Posted by concerned, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

So happy to hear about this decision!!!


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Heard about another, undiscussed, case that the SCOTUS just determined, which may finally bring about the Constitutionality of one part of the Voting Rights Act of '64...or was it '65?

Both side of opinion on the ruling below
Web Link
Web Link

Hard to untangle, but the best I can figure, it calls into Constitutional question the whole idea that one has to apply to the DOJ to change voting rules...esp only SOME states and not others.

Clarence Thomas has so far called it correctly on what cases were going to come forth, and is now saying this is the next area which is going to be brought to bear in the Supreme Court..the Constitutionality of some parts of the Voting Rights Act.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm

But the Supreme Court makes mistakes, right? Perhaps, for example, some Sotomayor detractors want to abolish Roe v. Wade?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

While some may want Roe v Wade overturned, I am more concerned that the drive toward socialized medicine and the ascendancy of Ehrlich back into goernment may see us emulating that other government with a one child policy, enforced by mandatory abortions.


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Frankly, I would be delighted if we just went back to Roe v. Wade! ( Read the part about "first 3 months" and you will understand)


Posted by Constipated, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm

The only reason we have anti-discrimination laws is because white christian
people for years have discriminated against others based on color, religion, etnicity for years. But woe to anyone that makes a white person feel like he was discrimated against. The perspectives of the world become apoplectic. Or is perspective just constipated?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 6:30 am

Oh, Sharon, you are so way off the mark.
Are you saying that no other Supreme Court justice has had a ruling overturned by a higher court? Should she be judged by this one case and not her whole record? And, of course, you are wrong, Sotomayor respects the judicial system and, naturally will not claim "discrimination".


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 6:52 am

63% overturned rulings by the SCOTUS..well, that is a bit high, doncha think? Maybe this one makes it 70%..will have to check.

In reality, the left, headed by BHO, who SAID in 2001 that the SCOTUS has
BHO quote re: SCOTUS "... has never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and...political and economic justice issues in this society...it didn't break free from the essential restraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution...it says what the State CAN'T do to you, and what the FEDERAL GOVT can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the Fed Govt or State Govt MUST DO ON YOUR BEHALF"

Web Link..."

So, here is a guy, now Pres, who regrets that the SCOTUS has not broken free of the restraints placed on the govt by the Constitution...and is trying to appoint a Justice to the SCOTUS who has been overturned 63% ( this reversal makes it more) of the time..my guess is he wants to further his agenda of overturning our Constitution. So, of course he wouldn't want someone who has judged the majority of the time in keeping with what he terms the "not radical at all Warren Court" since it never managed to break free of the restraints placed by the Constitution ( at least as "it has been interpreted so far"..quote)

So, no, I DON'T want an appointee whose judgement so far as been overruled over 63% of the time by the highest Court in our land. That means she got no more than 47% "right" so far...and in my book that is failing. I would rather AT LEAST a "C" level of job of 70-75% correct rulings!





Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 7:19 am

"63% overturned rulings by the SCOTUS..well, that is a bit high, doncha think? Maybe this one makes it 70%..will have to check."

And where are you getting this number from?
Seems you are using the same creative math that Limbaugh uses:

Web Link

From that article:

"Of the majority opinions that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has authored since becoming an appellate judge in 1998, three of her appellate opinions have been overturned by the Supreme Court.
Our search for appellate opinions by Sotomayor on the LexisNexis database returned 232 cases. That's a reversal rate of 1.3 percent."

And to be fair to Perspective, if you consider that only 5 cases of hers have been reviewed than 3 reversals does equal 60%.

That said the article also states:
"In any case, 60 percent of the cases the Supreme Court has reviewed is not a particularly high number. In any given term, the Supreme Court normally reverses a higher percentage of the cases it hears. During its 2006-2007 term, for instance, the Court reversed or vacated (which, for our purposes here, mean the same thing) 68 percent of the cases before it. The rate was 73.6 percent the previous term."

So, really, Perspective, can we stick to facts, not Obama/Sotomayor bashing fiction?


And you also state:
"So, no, I DON'T want an appointee whose judgement so far as been overruled over 63% of the time by the highest Court in our land. That means she got no more than 47% "right" so far...and in my book that is failing. I would rather AT LEAST a "C" level of job of 70-75% correct rulings!"

That statement has been negated by the FACTS presented above. She has been "right" over 98% of the time. Her judgment in 200+ cases has been shown to be "right" by your standards (no overturn by the Supreme COurt)--that seems like a very good track record to me.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 7:50 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The obvious solution to the firefighter exam problem - let Jackson and Sharpton form a company to certify exams as race neutral for a fee of 1 million simoleons per certification.


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:01 am

BTW, Perspective--what is your standard for a "correct" ruling? one that the Supreme Court upholds? I think you will find that both sides of the political spectrum will agree that the final decision of the Supreme Court does not mean the ruling was "Correct".


Posted by VoxPop, a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

Of the five decisions Alito participated in that SCOTUS reviewed, the court reversed five -- that's 100%. Roberts sat on SCOTUS when the court reversed one of his decisions. Six of the decisions Sotomayor participated in were reviewed by the court, only three were reversed. None of this make a lot of difference when you consider that the court picks and chooses the decisions it reviews, usually with an eye to overturning them, which accounts for the overall high reversal rate. Further, Sotomayor participated in some 380 decisions and had only three overturned. That's a pretty good average.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Alito was reversed 100% but Sotomayor only 50%? She'll never catch up.


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 1, 2009 at 12:06 am

A sensible ruling that I am sure the majority of Americans agree with.


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2009 at 8:16 am

Has anyone else noted that all 9, yes, all NINE, Supreme Court Justices, including Ginsberg, wrote that Sotomayor was wrong to bury the Firefighter case to try to keep them from their day in Court?

She tried to abuse her power to further a political goal.

Please wake up people and notice who is about to be placed on the Supreme Court! This is not a "wise, latina who can judge better from compassion" but someone with a social/political agenda who will do whatever it takes to reshape our nation in her desires.

I don't want an agenda with compassion on the bench, I want DISpassionate review of cases held up against the Constitution with legal dispatch, blind to color, gender, etc.


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2009 at 8:26 am

Is this your new approach Perspective? You think Sotomayor should be judged based on this one decision? ( we will not get into the issue in that decision, suffice it to say that firestations were notorious in the past for discrimination and I believe they were singled out because of this matter--suffice it say that the matter is not as simple as Perspective wants you to think it is) What evidence do you really have for your claims that she has a "social/political agenda who will do whatever it takes to reshape our nation in her desires."?
First you falsely claim that she had a 63% reversal rate and now you make the above claims.
I still say it is amazing how people talk about being "blind to color, gender etc" now (note that most of these people tend to be white people that make these claims now). When these same people were able to get away with discrimination, they had no concerns about the matter.
As I and others have stated, there is nothing as upset as a white person who feels that they are being "discriminated" against


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm

uh...you clearly have no idea who I am, what color I am, not even what gender I am, nor where I was raised and how, with what beliefs, or under what kind of discrimination.

But, fine, go ahead, keep making your assumptions, you prove my point about racism and sexism being extremely alive and well on the left. Please note I am making no assumptions about your race/gender/age/upbringing ..

And 3 out of 5 overturns are what percentage? oh..sorry..60% not 63% ...However, if I accept the premise that she has judged many hundreds more cases and therefore this in not a an accurate portrayal of her judgements, ok..fine..I can see your point. I, personally, would rather have someone who has not lost any challenges, though..

And I certainly would like to have someone who was not unanimously judged by the highest court in our land to have misused a legal clause for..well, for whatever purpose she had. I am sure there are other wise latina, or wise latino, or wisse black women, or wise black men, or wise white women, or wise asian men or asian women ..whatever..maybe we should just stick with "judges" who have already proven they would do a better job in sticking to the Constitution AND in rendering opinions in speeches and essays.

All this doesn't really matter anyway. She is going to be on the Supreme Court, this is all just a waste of time at this point, given that there is no way to stop the Dems from doing whatever they want whenever they want at this point.

The Dems have always been very good about knowing when to use their power as quickly as possible, ..just wish Republicans had learned that lesson. Maybe they are learning now...hahaha
BTW, check out Mallard Fillmore's Comic today. It is hilarious.


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Perspective:

"But, fine, go ahead, keep making your assumptions, you prove my point about racism and sexism being extremely alive and well on the left. Please note I am making no assumptions about your race/gender/age/upbringing .."

I was making a general comment about the cries of discrimination--not specifically about you. The world does not revolve around you, Perspective, nor does this forum.

"And 3 out of 5 overturns are what percentage? oh..sorry..60% not 63% ...However, if I accept the premise that she has judged many hundreds more cases and therefore this in not a an accurate portrayal of her judgements, ok..fine..I can see your point. I, personally, would rather have someone who has not lost any challenges, though.."

As i showed previously, her overturn rate is less than 2%--not bad. Alito had all of SCOTUS cases overturned--that's a 100%. Should he not have been confirmed based on that?
Let me know which long term judge has not had any cases overturned.


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2009 at 6:39 am

An excellent commentary from Ruben Navarrette:

Web Link

"....and that the main concern of those who'd oppose her would be that she might use her power as a justice to disenfranchise white males. After all, for most of my parents' lives, the bulk of the power in society has been concentrated in the hands of white males.

And to extend the weirdness, even though five of the seven conservatives have never served as judges, this didn't stop them from presumptuously lecturing someone who has been on the federal bench for 17 years about the proper role of the judiciary. "


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