Supreme Court Is Right to Reject Sotomayor's Ricci Ruling on New Haven Firefighters

We are moving past logic and reason. We can do better.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

The Supreme Court's ruling today on behalf of a group of white and Hispanic firefighters from New Haven, Conn., is the latest proof that it's time for our increasingly diverse nation to start dropping affirmative action programs based on race, and move toward a color-blind society.

The court ruled that the white and Hispanic candidates who aced their exam, but were denied promotion by New Haven because no black candidates qualified, were the victims of reverse discrimination. The case is particularly relevant because, in reaching their decision, the justices overruled a decision by a federal appeals court that included Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor's participation in the appellate court ruling will no doubt provide grist for conservatives, and other foes, as she heads toward hearings and Senate confirmation.

And that will leave us with this contorted tale: The nation's first black president, after selecting the Supreme Court's first Hispanic nominee, will be criticized because, in ruling on behalf of the city of New Haven and its affirmative action plan, she penalized Hispanic candidates.

We are moving past logic and reason. We can do better than this.

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