From the New York Times, an update on the Vulcan Society disparate impact discrimination lawsuit filed by the Bush Administration (thanks, Alberto!):
In a lacerating decision that accused Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of willfully ignoring the racial imbalance in the New York Fire Department, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a court-appointed monitor would be installed to oversee the department’s recruitment efforts and ensure that more minority candidates are hired.
The decision by the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, comes at the end of four years of bitter litigation in which the city and the Fire Department stood accused of allowing the department to remain almost 97 percent white for decades, despite the fact that the city’s population is about 25 percent black.
Judge Garaufis has been revealing himself to be an innumerate fool for a couple of years now, but do you think anybody he knows has ever pointed this out to him? There is no shame in our society for being a certain kind of idiot. He, in fact, gives off repeated hints that he's immensely proud of himself.
The judge's latest decision is a case study in disparate impact reasoning, such as it is.
The one interesting thing is a footnote showing that while blacks make up 3.8% of the FDNY, blacks make up 61.4% of the Corrections Department. Why no disparate impact study of that department, where blacks are wildly overrepresented? (Presumably, blacks like working for a black-dominated department where you don't have to run into burning buildings, the technical knowledge requirements are lower, and maybe there are more chances for graft.)