The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and its affiliates — the Asian American Institute of Chicago, Ill., Asian Law Caucus of San Francisco, Calif., and Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Los Angeles, Calif. — express eddisappointment with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the matter of Ricci v. DeStefano, which imposes a new standard on employers. The basis of the case is the city of New Haven’s decision to refuse certification of the results of a firefighters’ promotion test upon discovering that the test was likely discriminatory.
In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court stated that the city of New Haven lacked sufficient evidence in deciding that the firefighters’ promotion test was discriminatory in operation, despite strong statistical evidence that showed no African American firefighters were able to pass the test and that only one Hispanic firefighter passed.
The Court’s decision will force certification of test results that do not comply with federal guidelines, and will further undermine equal opportunity for Asian Americans and all minorities, according to the organizations.
“There’s no question we’ve made a lot of progress in the United States, but fire departments around the country have a long history of excluding minorities and women,” said Vincent Eng, deputy director of AAJC. “We encourage President Obama to work with Congress to give clear guidance on how equality in employment can be achieved. It remains the government’s responsibility to ensure freedom from discrimination for all Americans.” ♦