October 1, 2013

Eric Holder v. Austin FD: the fix is in

As commenters noted, last week's announcement that the Justice Department was suing the Fire Department of Austin, TX for racial/ethnic discrimination was evidence of a pre-arranged fix between the Obama Administration and the liberal city government to throw the case, rather than to let it go to courts where it might wind up a 5-4 Supreme Court decision cutting back disparate impact logic.

When the story broke, I couldn't find the DoJ's letter online, but now the firemen's union has posted it. It makes interesting reading in that it offers zero evidence for discrimination other than that using an objective test as one part of the three-part hiring process has "statistically significant" adverse impact on blacks and Latinos, and that hiring in top-down order based on the combined scores also has "statistically significant" adverse impact.

But who cares if this is a bizarrely bad case for the theory of disparate/adverse impact, if it will never be litigated? The DoJ letter spells it out:
"We understand that the City is interested in participating in settlement negotiations with the goal of resolving this matter without contested litigation."

My guess is that the octogenarian Ruth Bader Ginsburg will retire in 2015 or 2016 to make sure her replacement is appointed by Obama, giving the Democrats three relatively youthful Obama appointee votes. Perhaps Stephen Breyer, who will turn 78 in 2016, will take one for the team, too.

By the 2016 election, both Scalia and Kennedy will be 80, and Thomas's life expectancy doesn't appear all that hot. Chief Justice Roberts looks terrific, but has epilepsy.

So, if you are the Obama Administration, at present it makes sense just to pick rigged fights on adverse/disparate impact.

26 comments:

rob said...

Chief Justice Roberts looks terrific, but has epilepsy.

I have a subjective impression that epilepsy used to much more common than it is today. Am I right, or is it just a combination of better treatment and the cultural impact of the disease shrinking when people stopped thinking God talks to epileptics?

Art Deco said...

The lawyer left is sociopathic.

Anonymous said...

What percentage of whites voted for Obama outside the South?

Iowa went with Obam twice.

And GOP will not touch this issue nor point to disparate impact advantage of Jews, a people who most vociferously attack gentile whites.

Hieronymous Boss said...

Let's not forget the propaganda value of a bringing a case like this against Austin, famous as one of the most reliably liberal cities in U.S., a major college town, and a fixed star in the sky of many a Gawker-reading twentysomething because it's a hipstery music/arts center: if racism is rampant in Austin then it must be a problem everywhere, and it must be *completely* out of control in rural areas and in (shudder) the south. This just shows How Far We Still Have to Go, etc., etc.

Matthew said...

"My guess is that the octogenarian Ruth Bader Ginsburg will retire in 2015 or 2016 to make sure her replacement is appointed by Obama."

You would think. I was surprised when she didn't retire before the 2012 elections. But some blog, probably The Corner at NRO, mentioned that Ginsburg supposedly isn't on very good terms with The Won. His administration was apparently pressuring her to step down so he'd get another Court nomination.

It's possible that's why Obama nominated Elena Kagan - to ensure Ginsburg that there'd still be a harpee Brooklyn Jewess on the Court after she left.

d.... said...

Yep, a fix.

If the DoJ under a Democratic President ever touches NYC, I'll eat my hat in Times Square. (I'll make sure the hat is made of chocolate, but still.)

This goes double for when DeBlasio is elected. Now, I make no predictions as to what DeBlasio himself will do.

As for now....the situation is at a stand off.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324216004578483080791606570.html

d.... said...

Further to my previous comment, I urge you to read the article in full - the stuff about "federal monitorship" was new to me.

In the past my response to lawsuits on the part of females seeking to get into the FDNY was exasperated annoyance. I now welcome it. Up until now, the issue is entirely confined to the "achievement gap" problems inherent in black-white-Hispanic group differences. Not seeing the underlying reason for these group differences requires a form of blindness, but at least it's confined to blindness in the realm of reality.

I want to see the butt-kicking babes turn this whole argument into a complete pschyo-loony ward joke.

It happened in the past but was squelched, because we still had some shreds of sanity left.

This is the radical feminist version of what happened:

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/takingtheheat/film.html

It's lies - the women had their day in court, and the courts wisely ruled that the physical tests did not discriminate against women. They discriminated against weak people.

If you care to look up the legal citation, it is in the bio of the openly lesbian who hustled her way into the FDNY in the 70s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Berkman#cite_note-4

Don't bet on sense in the future.

Firefighting in a Victorian mess like NYC is for super-fit, extremely strong men, who are reasonably intelligent. Anything else will endanger life.

Although I maintain that the Feds will take a hands-off approach to cool NYC, that won't stop a new generation of crazy lesbians from taking their case to the courts.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for the colleges and med and law schools to be sued for the disparate impact of admitting students based on their SAT, MCAT, and LSAT scores.

Power Child said...

Didn't Holder go after some "racist" voter ID law thing recently too?

Daniel said...

>>My guess is that the octogenarian Ruth Bader Ginsburg will retire in 2015 or 2016 to make sure her replacement is appointed by Obama, giving the Democrats three relatively youthful Obama appointee votes.

And we are supposed to respect this institution, it's decision/votes, "precedents".

Anonymous said...

Progormism--progressive conformism--is the norm of the day.

Put 'gay marriage' at the top of the list of priorities, and all progs will play fetch and roll over in unison.
Stepford Progs.

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine what a Martian would think if he came down and observed that:

(1) white people are legally penalized for doing relatively well on indisputably objective tests, and

(2) white people are a large majority of the electorate, and

(3) one of the two major parties enthusiastically supports this legal doctrine, and

(4) the other major party doesn't have the slightest interest in opposing it.

The Martian would surely conclude that there is something wrong with Americans, the GOP, or, more probably, both. He would be right.

Anonymous said...

Subject j to AA the way they do to Whites. US society would change foreve, especially Wall Street and MSM/Hollywood.

eah said...

And all those white guys who'll be denied jobs at the Austin FD -- not that they're somehow entitled -- simply because they share the city with dumb Blacks and Hispanics who also want to be firefighters will be coerced into paying taxes so the aforementioned dumb Blacks and Hispanics can have those jobs.

Sounds like a recipe for goodwill.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous "what percentage of whites...."

Well it appears outside of the South the White vote went about 50/50 for Obama although interestingly enough in Northern states with a high percentage of minorities the White vote was skewed more towards Romney.

For example I think one exit poll I saw had around 60% of Cali Whites voting for Romney.

Romney also won the White youth vote as well. So again the spiel by the media is a little off. What is going on now is racial Balkanization in terms of voting. Everyone seems to be playing except for most Northern Whites and single White women.

Anonymous said...

http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2013/09/30/a-student-says-no-to-standardized-testing/

Anonymous said...

Maybe the simple truth is just that the blacks and Hispanics who took the test were less intelligent then the whites who also took it. Why is choosing a more intelligent applicant "discrimination"?

What an endless series of complications diversity causes for America.

E. Rekshun said...

G.H.W. Bush wasted a pick w/ Souter. The only two true conservative moves that G.W. Bush may have made were the selections of Alito and Roberts.

Otis McWrong said...

Anonymous said: "Romney also won the White youth vote as well. So again the spiel by the media is a little off. What is going on now is racial Balkanization in terms of voting. Everyone seems to be playing except for most Northern Whites and single White women."

And the Republicans party

Corn said...

"Romney also won the White youth vote as well"

Yes, and as I've posted here before, polls also show a majority of under 30 whites oppose racial preferences.
The failure of the Republicans to take on AA shows ust how useless they are.

Anonymous said...

"Romney also won the White youth vote as well"

How about in non-southern states?

Including southern states skews the picture since most whites vote GOP out of racial fear.

Matthew said...

"Yes, and as I've posted here before, polls also show a majority of under 30 whites oppose racial preferences. The failure of the Republicans to take on AA shows ust how useless they are.

Affirmative action is one of those untapped political causes that is all upside for the GOP. If we get a GOP House and Senate in 2014 they should pass a bill abolishing it just prior to the 2016 elections. Unlike opposing illegal immigration, it won't cost them support from the business lobby, and it's not going to cost them many NAM votes, either. Force Obama and congressional Dems to support an unpopular policy right before an election.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

Anonymous said:

"How about in non-southern states?"

Pardon me, but why are the south (and lower midwest) the presumed outcasts here? Why not the northern and west coast states?

As Larry Correia pointed out, this is the left's M.O. - disqualify, disqualify, disqualify. Don't argue with a conservative position, just try to explain why it doesn't really count. The opinions of the entire population of a huge and economically vital region of the country don't really count because racism.

Correia's whole article, for those interested. It's a good read: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/the-internet-arguing-checklist/

pat said...

I took a lot of statistics in college and grad school. And of course I taught statistics at night for many years. I needed all that stat - in theory - because my day job was to evaluate the performance of government programs. I ran studies on government programs to see if they worked or not.

SPOILER ALERT:
More than half of all government programs simply don't work at all.

In all those years and all those studies, statistical significance only came up once. In general if a program was effective enough that there was a question as to whether the observed effect was statistically significant - they would be given a pass. I only dealt with findings that were so large that no stat calculations were needed. I only bothered with cases where there was total undeniable failure. I ignored the cases where there might be doubt as whether the null hypothesis could be rejected or there was some question as to Type II error. I only cared about clear cut total disasters. Fortunately for me that was the situation in the majority of the programs that I studied.

The only exception was when I presented a case for defunding a program run by Contra Costa Community College. The college president made a statistical significance defense. I was ready. I pounded him rhetorically into the ground. As it happened I was teaching data processing at CCC at night, but he didn't know that. He was at least partly my boss. Joy.

So all those many years of stat study paid off finally in twenty minutes of debate.

BTW the CCC program was an embarrassing mess. The president's stat argument was just a smoke screen. In the real world of public policy statistical significance isn't significant.

Albertosaurus

Mr. Anon said...

"E. Rekshun said...

G.H.W. Bush wasted a pick w/ Souter. The only two true conservative moves that G.W. Bush may have made were the selections of Alito and Roberts."

Roberts was not a conservative pick - as he demonstrated by tipping Obama-care over the net. That he was not a conservative should not have been unknown to the Bush administration. Prior to his nomination, Roberts did pro-bono legal work in support of gay-marriage. If you want to know whether or not a guy is conservative or not, here's a hint - if he thinks that two dudes should be able to get married, he ain't.

Anonymous said...

"Still waiting for the colleges and med and law schools to be sued for the disparate impact of admitting students based on their SAT, MCAT, and LSAT scores." - not going to happen, they were pretty much exempted from DI. Equal protection indeed.