Saturday, November 28, 2009

Connecticut Firefighters Get Supreme Court-Ordered Promotions

Despite the best efforts of lower court judges, including then-judge Sonia Sotomayor, the New Haven, Connecticut firefighters in the high-profile Ricci case finally were awarded their civil service promotions to either lieutenant or captain:
A U.S. District Court judge, under instruction by the Supreme Court decision, today issued an judgment finding the city violated the civil rights of a group of white firefighters when it threw out two promotional exams in 2004, and ordered the city to promote 14 of them.
The two-page, bare-boned judgment issued late this afternoon was the culmination of five years of litigation that wound all the way to the nation’s highest court — and has been the target of a recent flurry of legal wrangling trying to prevent the promotions from being made.
Judge Janet Bond Arterton, who in 2006 threw out the firefighters’ lawsuit only to have the decision ultimately overturned by the nation’s high court in June, laid out the city’s road map. It left no ambiguity
The formal promotion ceremony is scheduled for December 10.

Update: More fallout from the Ricci case as reported by the Hartford Courant:
Meanwhile, in Bridgeport, a dozen firefighters this week settled their reverse discrimination suit and related suits against the city, attorneys for those firefighters announced Tuesday. The attorneys cited the Supreme Court decision in the New Haven case, saying the Bridgeport settlement "came as a direct result" of that ruling.
Further Update:
New Haven officials say they will promote 10 more firefighters based on promotional exams given in 2003 that were at the center of a landmark reverse discrimination ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 10 firefighters scored well enough to be promoted to captains and lieutenants, but were not part of the lawsuit settled by the Supreme Court last June. City fire commissioners are expected to approve the promotions Friday.