Two smart posts over at Eunomia about the Ricci case, First, this:
An important point about the case that has been left out in many accounts is this:
In part, the city’s reaction was defensive. Because of the magnitude of the racial disparity on the exams, which would have ensured that white firefighters received the great majority of the promotions, an attorney for the city concluded that there was a strong likelihood of a lawsuit by African American and Latino firefighters if the promotion list generated by the test were used. Since Title VII was signed into law in 1964, it has been illegal for employers to use tests that have an unjustified racially “discriminatory effect.”
What this means is that the appeals court ruled against Ricci because it recognized that New Haven had tried to avoid a lawsuit that would have been possible and likely successful because of current law. In other words, the city tried to avoid falling afoul of the law, and the court did not penalize it for doing so. What is to blame in all of this is the law, rather than the judges who seem to have done what they were supposed to do. Indeed, what some people seem to have wanted to see Sotomayor do is to punish New Haven for trying to stay within the limits of the law, and for failing to do so she is declared to be an enemy of the rule of law. I submit that this doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Followed up with this observation in a post ridiculing the esteemed author of Liberal Fascism:
There is something eerily similar to conservative reactions to the Ricci case and the common conservative reaction to the rulings of the courts in the Schiavo controversy: the actual substance of law in the matter was fairly straightforward and clear, but it yielded a result that many conservatives found unacceptable, and they therefore sought all manner of political remedies to undo the reasonable decisions of the courts. Rather than locating the problem in the law or in the unusually difficult circumstances of the case in question, conservatives determined that it was the judges who were the problem. There is also a similarity in the schizophrenic reactions to Sotomayor (defender of the bankrupt system! no, crazy radical! maybe both!) to the way conservatives vacillate between accusing Obama of being a hypocrite and liar (”he promised change, but he’s just continuing Bush’s policies”) and freaking out about the approaching dictatorship of the proletariat that he will supposedly usher in. For my part, I have not had any illusions that Obama was anything other than a conventional establishmentarian, and this was obvious all along, and in choosing Sotomayor he has shown yet again how he can make a rather boring status quo decision seem much more momentous and remarkable than it is.
Maybe boring is what we need right now? At any rate, I thought these were rather astute observations.