February 22, 2010

Supreme Court to hear Chicago Firemen Test?

From the AP:
The Supreme Court on Monday seemed willing to let a group of African Americans sue Chicago for discrimination over a hiring test that weeded out black applicants to become firefighters.

It is the second time in as many years that the high court has tackled discrimination in testing within the firefighting ranks. In a landmark case last year, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said New Haven, Conn., violated white firefighters' civil rights by throwing out an exam in which no African-Americans scored high enough to be promoted to lieutenant or captain.

In Monday's case, the city of Chicago decided to use a test to weed out potential firefighter trainee applicants. Anyone who scored 64 or below was deemed not qualified. But the city set a second cutoff score of 89 points.

Officials told applicants who scored below 89 but above 64 that although they passed the test, they likely would not be hired because of the large number of people who scored 89 or above. The majority of those in the top-scoring group were white; only 11 percent were black.

"Chicago used an unlawful cutoff score to determine which applicants it would hire as firefighters," said John Payton, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "There is no dispute that the cutoff score had an adverse impact on qualified black applicants and was not job-related."

However, the issue before the court was whether the aspiring black firefighters waited too long to sue. People are supposed to sue within 300 days after an employment action they seek to challenge as unlawful.

The city says the clock started when it announced the use of the test scores in January 26, 1996. The first lawsuit in the case was filed on March 31, 1997, 430 days after the city announced the results.

But the plaintiffs say a new act of discrimination also happened each time the scores were used in hiring firefighter trainees between May 1996 and October 2001.

A U.S. District judge agreed with the black applicants, but the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision. The federal appeals court said the limitation period began when the city placed the applicants into the middle tier.

"And after that decision was made, there was nothing else that Chicago did that affected petitioners in the terms required by the statute," city lawyer Benna Solomon argued. "Hiring others did not adversely affect petitioners."

But "what is the list, other than an administratively convenient way to use the scores?" Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked.

Added Justice Sonia Sotomayor: "When you hire, aren't you acting upon the results?"

Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal argued that if the court allows the city of Chicago to hire using its flawed method, that will tell employers they can get away with a discriminatory test if they manage to avoid a lawsuit within the 300-day limit .

"If the rule of the city of Chicago were adopted, then an employer who made it 300 days without an EEOC charge being filed ... would then be able to, for all time, use that discriminatory test," Kaytal said.

The court is expected to make a decision before fall.

The case is Lewis v. Chicago, 08-974.

This is not an obscure case: Mayor Daley put the city through contortions in the 1990s to come up with racially fair fire and police test, and was shocked when whites always did so much better on them.

Will anybody nationally come to the defense of the Chicago firemen most qualified to save lives?

The two guys who did the most to impede Obama's momentum last summer were Frank Ricci and James Crowley. And, yet, nobody seems to pick up on these huge New York and Chicago fire department cases as politicizable.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

36 comments:

Yan Shen said...

Steve, by Suprece Court, surely you mean Supreme Court right? :)

Anonymous said...

Post the brooks article you have on Vdare - its good for 300+ comments :)

Thrasymachus said...

I'm guessing your question "Will anybody defend the firefighters most qualified to save lives?" was rhetorical, since you obviously know the answer.

In my travels in the Northeast I see many places where I can tell socialism is deep in the bones of the white people. A majority of white people are socialist. Getting rid of minorities may actually help the cause of socialism, as we see in Europe where people at least know the benefits are going to others like them.

Racial spoils are critical and unalterable part of the American socialist system. They started working these into it in the 30's, and they will never be removed.

A black guy recently died in Pittsburgh after calling 911 numerous times over two days. The EMTs came out but the ambulance couldn't get close to the house due to snow so they left. I guess the idea of, you know, walking seemed like too much work to these cossetted, unionized, employed-for-life civil servants. So the victims of all this will be, predictably, black people.

The only time I can think of white people getting hosed in situation like this was a huge fire in the Oakland hills in the 90's I think, where the black-run fire department did very poorly. Those people were probably mostly sandalistas though and would rather have their houses burn down that white firemen.

rightsaidfred said...

"Will anybody nationally come to the defense of the Chicago firemen most qualified to save lives?"

Maybe the Epic Beard Man of Youtube fame.

Anonymous said...

Instead of suing, why not just STUDY FOR THE EXAM???

It's a firefighter exam, not the friggin MCAT . . . it can't be THAT hard.

Christ, what has America become? Bunch a crybabies.

josh said...

Our CTA is falling apart,raising fares and cutting service. Raising and cutting,one crisis after another. The chairman of the Reginal Trans Authority=black. The head of the CTA=Mexican.Succeeded some black. The head of the union=black. Black black black black. To borrow fron Cleavon Little,:"Where da White men at???" Try walking into a post offic eand see if there are any white men there. Maybe the guy in the turban can help you;at least the Asian woman will be helpful--ususally.Obv discrimination is so endemic in every facet of government hiring that the institutiomns have been overun with 3rd world minority doofuses. I wonder if Jack Welch was running the CTA and hiring was based COMPLETELY on merit and he did the thing where he tells a certain % of the bottom performers to find work elsewhere. Things might run a little better. Massive numbers of jobs =black. And still the phoney argument of "discrimination" is tolerated. The test for fireman has been so dumbed down that only scarey stupid people cant get a decent score. Its a disgrace that white men must beg the Supremes to "grant" them their civil rights,as if people like Ruth bader Ginsburg & the doltish Sonia are fit to be our judge!!

Melykin said...

Instead of suing, why not just STUDY FOR THE EXAM???

It's a firefighter exam, not the friggin MCAT . . . it can't be THAT hard.

Christ, what has America become? Bunch a crybabies.


That is the first thing I thought of too. Surely to goodness it would be a lot easier, faster, and less stressful just to study for the God Damned exam!

Richard Hoste said...

"Chicago used an unlawful cutoff score to determine which applicants it would hire as firefighters," said John Payton, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "There is no dispute that the cutoff score had an adverse impact on qualified black applicants and was not job-related."


What's it like to be a black race man? To go through your whole life sticking up for your race by demanding lower standards and trying to get exempted from taking tests? Do they have the requisite decency to be ashamed of themselves?

anony-mouse said...

You're missing an opportunity as usual.

Go to Chicago and find a home where the asbestos hasn't yet been removed.

Buy it (the price of a house with asbestos should be rather low.)

Live in it (don't worry about the asbestos in the air since as long as you don't disturb the asbestos its largely harmless).

After a few decades it'll be one of the few old homes still standing.

Anonymous said...

I thought Operation Head Start was supposed to bring blacks up to speed. So what happened? What do we do now? I've got it: send more money. That'll fix it.

ziel said...

Near the end of the oral argument, the lawyer for Chicago started to sneak in the argument that the test was not discriminatory, and they had good reason to believe that the higher the score the better qualified the applicant. She basically said that due to the expiration of the statute of limitations they did not argue this point. So there could yet be a fairly interesting outcome.

SFG said...

"What's it like to be a black race man? To go through your whole life sticking up for your race by demanding lower standards and trying to get exempted from taking tests? Do they have the requisite decency to be ashamed of themselves?"

You're sticking up for your people. You think of yourself as defending a put-upon and unjustly oppressed group that includes your family, your friends, and your neighbors. Remember Sailer and Lenin? "Who? Whom?"

"In my travels in the Northeast I see many places where I can tell socialism is deep in the bones of the white people. A majority of white people are socialist. Getting rid of minorities may actually help the cause of socialism, as we see in Europe where people at least know the benefits are going to others like them."

Oh yeah. Sweden's comfy. If it weren't for the NAMs messing it up, we could have national healthcare and not have to worry about having a heart attack and going broke if we lost a job. We could have our kids go to the best college they got into instead of the one they could afford.

That's life? It ain't everywhere else in the civilized world, bub.

Frankly, I never got why socialism was so bad _in and of itself_. Of course it doesn't work with 'diversity' because we've got welfare types who screw it up for everyone else, but...

Actually, white nationalism and socialism fit pretty well together. Maybe we could stick the words together, like white national-socialism. Oh wait...

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"Surely to goodness it would be a lot easier, faster, and less stressful just to study for the God Damned exam!"

What would be the fun of that?

Cracker said...

"Instead of suing, why not just STUDY FOR THE EXAM???"

Because suing is like playing the lottery with someone else's money.
If you win, you're rich and famous.
If you don't win, you don't lose anything substantial. Their attorneys probably took the case on contingency anyway.

Anonymous said...

"The two guys who did the most to impede Obama's momentum last summer were Frank Ricci and James Crowley."

I totally agree, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Kevin MacDonald's new political party is coming to their defense.

http://american3p.org/?p=357

Jack said...

White Catholic middle class voters put Chris Christie and Scott Brown into office, to a large extent. You'd think more politicians would see the group ripe for the taking.

Tom Regan said...

To me, the question that leaps out is - 11 per cent of the applicants above 89 were black. Isn't that ballpark representative of the percentage of the population that is black?
You want egregious over-representation of one ethnic group vis-a-vis national population, try the NBA, not the fire department.

Anonymous said...

In Arthur Hu's Wonderlic to IQ conversion table, he calculates that the Wonderlic people recommend an IQ range of 104 to 114 for "Police, Patrol Officer".

Now I don't know how police department requirements compare to fire department requirements - I should think that the average fire fighter has to employ vastly more complicated technology on the job, but that the average police officer has to fill out a great deal more paperwork nowadays, so you can argue about which requires the higher IQ - but in his infamous footnote #44, Murray has data which indicates that the average black IQ is now down around 80, and if you assume a standard deviation of 15 [which might be a bad assumption - the standard deviation could be much lower than that], then the Wonderlic folks are recommending an IQ for a patrol officer [i.e. a beat cop] which is about two standard deviations above the black average.

Now at two standard deviations, you are left with only

[0.5] X [100% - 95.4499736%] = 2.2750132%

of the black population with an IQ at or above 110.

On the other hand, if the white population has a mean IQ of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, then an IQ of 110 or higher is held by about 25.2493% of the population.

So in a sample population that was 85% white and 15% black, you would expect about

WHITE: 0.252493 X 0.85 = 0.21461905 "points" of whites
BLACK: 0.022750 X 0.15 = 0.00341250 "points" of blacks

to have IQs at or above 110.

I.e. you would expect your black and white ratios to look like:

WHITE: 0.21461905 / [0.21461905 + 0.00341250] = 98.43%
BLACK: 0.00341250 / [0.21461905 + 0.00341250] = 1.57%

Anonymous said...

Got a question for y'all:

Obviously an Asian Woman would ace these firefighter exams.

Would you say, she is the most qualified candidate?

Yes, I know, the test is not the only criteria but, you have to really ask yourself how relevant the exams are--You STATE it but you do not prove it.

keypusher said...

The test may be famous (in Chicago, anyway) but the case the Supreme Court has taken seems to pose only the very narrow question whether lawsuit was timely. In fact, whatever the city attorney said at oral argument, the city seems to be conceding that the test was improperly discriminatory.

I have a lot to learn in this area, but I think the 1991 Civil Right Act, which restored the presumption that a test with disparate impact was racially discriminatory, is the real problem. Fat chance getting that changed.

Svigor said...

The two guys who did the most to impede Obama's momentum last summer were Frank Ricci and James Crowley. And, yet, nobody seems to pick up on these huge New York and Chicago fire department cases as politicizable.

Steve, you've worked through racial issues and your psychology is racially well-adjusted. The vast majority of Americans are racially maladjusted, to put it kindly.

Svigor said...

Actually, white nationalism and socialism fit pretty well together. Maybe we could stick the words together, like white national-socialism. Oh wait...

My problem with socialism is the big government thing. Big government leads to government as nation; bunch of rudderless Nu Men waiting for the bureaucrats to tell them what to do. Next step, deracination, deidentization. Hello McWorld.

A PEOPLE needs a sense of self-awareness, an identity, to survive. IMO a PEOPLE is the point, and a big government is a threat to that.

Whites have been fixing one another's barns for eons without socialism or big government.

Svigor said...

2.2750132%

Yeah, left with that on paper.

Those 2%-ers are looking to be politicians and entertainers, not cops.

keypusher said...

To me, the question that leaps out is - 11 per cent of the applicants above 89 were black. Isn't that ballpark representative of the percentage of the population that is black?

Not in Chicago, no.

Whiskey said...

SWPL don't live in places like Chicago or Oakland, and so fully support (with their money) the war on working class White guys.

In fact, that is the whole reason SWPL exist. They are the ones with the most money.

My guess, the Supremes vote the way Obama wants them to, 5-4.

Anonymous said...

Chicago IS F_'ed UP beyond any kind of repair!! If you are not a city worker (that has their civil right to live anywhere they want stripped) you should not live in Chicago.

Detroit part II.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Instead of suing, why not just STUDY FOR THE EXAM???

It's a firefighter exam, not the friggin MCAT . . . it can't be THAT hard.

Christ, what has America become? Bunch a crybabies.

2/22/2010



It s unknown secret that chicago hiring and promo tests are rigged. Cant study something that makes no sense anyway.

Anonymous said...

Cracker said...
"Instead of suing, why not just STUDY FOR THE EXAM???"

Because suing is like playing the lottery with someone else's money.

------------

But in the case of a fire dept it is playing the lottery with someone else's LIVES.

Anonymous said...

a relative of mine witnessed a crash between a CTA bus and a car. The bus driver, a female black, walked off the bus and fell to the ground. She proceeded to do "the funky chicken" untill someone called for an ambulance FOR HER!

Anonymous said...

2.2750132%

Yeah, left with that on paper.

Those 2%-ers are looking to be politicians and entertainers, not cops.


Right: Those IQ 110/115/120 blacks, like Harold Ford or Barack Hussein Obama or David Paterson - who would make perfectly good fire department captains [and MAYBE even fire department chiefs, if they worked really hard at it] - are instead elevated to senatorships and governorships and presidencies, the intellectual requirements of which are completely beyond their innate capabilities.

It's kinda like Thomas Sowell's observation about how the top-notch black kids would do really well in, say, the Cal State system, but instead are leap-frogged over the University of California system altogether and land instead at Stanford or CalTech, whose curriculums they are hopelessly unprepared to master.

Anyway, with politics and other AA sinecures drawing off the IQ 110/115/120 crowd from the far right end of the black bell curve, what remains for these fire departments are IQ-90s and IQ-80s blacks trying to take an exam that was designed for IQ-110+ whites, and they don't stand any chance of passing it.

AmericanGoy said...

Thrasymachus said something profound, and I think it behooves me to repeat it and amplify it.

"Getting rid of minorities may actually help the cause of socialism, as we see in Europe where people at least know the benefits are going to others like them."

The ONLY reason America is not socialist is because the (white) middle class is afraid (probably justifiably so) of their tax dollars going to THEM (blacks, latinos).

That and propaganda 24/7 on radio and TV stupifying them to vote against their own interests i.e. socialism and for the interests of the elites.

AmericanGoy said...

Thrasymachus said something profound, and I think it behooves me to repeat it and amplify it.

"Getting rid of minorities may actually help the cause of socialism, as we see in Europe where people at least know the benefits are going to others like them."

The ONLY reason America is not socialist is because the (white) middle class is afraid (probably justifiably so) of their tax dollars going to THEM (blacks, latinos).

That and propaganda 24/7 on radio and TV stupifying them to vote against their own interests i.e. socialism and for the interests of the elites.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason America is not socialist is because the (white) middle class is afraid (probably justifiably so) of their tax dollars going to THEM (blacks, latinos).

I am not a darwinist, but sometimes I wonder whether the presence of the blacks and the illegal alien Mexicans - and their high birth rates - might help to keep American caucasian birth rates higher than in almost all other industrialized societies.

David said...

> It's a firefighter exam, not the friggin MCAT . . . it can't be THAT hard. <

Depends on one's IQ.

Which is the point.

Muscles matter, but if you are pointing the firehose the wrong way...or show up at the wrong address half the time...or can't work the equipment in the first place... Well, good luck, Chicago!

Anonymous said...

How is it unfair by saying if you dont recieve an 89 you dont get hired! Thats called a qualification and if you dont meet it then your not fully qualified, this is just a pathetic excuse for blacks to claim racism im tired of it. Chicago Fire is legendary it shouldn't be easy to get in it should be earned!