Sotomayor’s Advocates Target Firefighter Who Won Supreme Court Suit (UPDATE)

New Haven’s Board of Fire Commissioners has approved the promotions of 14 city firefighters who won a reverse discrimination case in a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A formal promotion ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Matt Marcarelli, who earned the top score on the captain’s exam in 2003 and assumed his new rank on Tuesday, says the action by the board was historic. The board approved the promotions after another city board certified the results of the 2003 exam that was at the center of the legal dispute.

Thirteen white city firefighters and one Hispanic firefighter were promoted to lieutenants and captains. They were among the firefighters who sued after the city threw out of the test results because too few minorities would have been promoted.

Justice prevailed.

Sotomayor’s pit bulls have been unleashed.

Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who’s at the center of Sotomayor’s most controversial ruling.

On the eve of Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the “troubled and litigious work history” of firefighter Frank Ricci.

This is opposition research: a constant shadow on Capitol Hill.

“The whole business of getting Supreme Court nominees through the process has become bloodsport,” said Gary Rose, a government and politics professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

On Friday, citing in an e-mail “Frank Ricci’s troubled and litigious work history,” the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way drew reporters’ attention to Ricci’s past. Other advocates for Sotomayor have discreetly urged journalists to pursue similar story lines.

Specifically, the advocates have zeroed in on an earlier 1995 lawsuit Ricci filed claiming the city of New Haven discriminated against him because he’s dyslexic. The advocates cite other Hartford Courant stories from the same era recounting how Ricci was fired by a fire department in Middletown, Conn., allegedly, Ricci said at the time, because of safety concerns he raised.

……The 35-year-old Ricci was the lead plaintiff in the case Ricci v. DeStefano, challenging New Haven’s refusal to promote white firefighters after African-American and all but one Hispanic firefighters failed to score high enough on a promotion exam.

Sotomayor and a majority of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city’s claim that it was justifiably concerned about a potential civil rights suit being filed by the African-American firefighters.

……Last month, however, the Supreme Court overturned the 2nd Circuit by 5-4.

“Once . . . employers have made clear their selection criteria, they may not then invalidate the test results, thus upsetting an employee’s legitimate expectation not to be judged on the basis of race,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.

With his awards for bravery, some 17 years of fire department service and history of overcoming dyslexia, Ricci has become a compelling human character in the Sotomayor confirmation drama. Senate Republicans have summoned him, along with Lt. Ben Vargas of the New Haven Fire Department, as two of their 14 witnesses next week.

This bears a resemblance to the crap pulled by Obama supporters against Joe Wurzenbacher (Joe the Plumber) when he faced down THE ONE and took issue with his socialist “spread the wealth” ideology.
In retaliation, Joe’s personal records were tapped into by former director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Helen Jones-Kelley, and he was villified by the leftwing MSM.

This is standard procedure from leftwing hatemongers whose toes have been stepped upon. They don’t like it when they’re confronted with their own discriminatory practices, and defeated to boot.

1 thought on “Sotomayor’s Advocates Target Firefighter Who Won Supreme Court Suit (UPDATE)”

  1. Pingback: The Peanut Gallery: 7/13/2009 « The Sad Elephant

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