Chris Dodd's Lack Of Empathy

Connecticut has been host to a number of cases in Supreme Court history that have had a profound impact on the legal landscape of our country, such as Griswold v. Connecticut, and more recently, Kelo v. City of New London. Over the past few weeks, as most Connecticut residents have noticed, the Constitution State is again at the center of the legal universe, this time in a reverse discrimination case arising out of the city of New Haven.

Ricci v. DeStefano is a lawsuit brought by white firefighters (including a Hispanic) who scored well on a promotional exam but were ultimately not promoted when the city refused to certify the exam results because following the procedures in place would not have resulted in enough black firefighters being promoted soon enough. JudgeSotomayor was on the Second Circuit panel that upheld the dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint. The full text of the per curiam opinion she signed on to is reproduced below:

Plaintiffs appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Arterton, J.) granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on all counts.

We affirm, for the reasons stated in the thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinion of the court below. Ricci v. DeStefano, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73277, 2006 WL 2828419 (D.Conn., Sept. 28, 2006). In this case, the Civil Service Board found itself in the unfortunate position of having no good alternatives. We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs’ expression of frustration. Mr.Ricci , for example, who is dyslexic, made intensive efforts that appear to have resulted in his scoring highly on one of the exams, only to have it invalidated. But it simply does not follow that he has a viable Title VII claim. To the contrary, because the Board, in refusing to validate the exams, was simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact, its actions were protected.


The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.

Yes, the full text. Not a whole lot of empathy for the dyslexic white guy with the Italian last name who earned, against all odds, a promotion he never got.

And what does Senator Chris Dodd, J.D. have to say on the matter? Not much, since apparently he has never bothered to spend five minutes thinking about a case of national importance and involving his own constituents.

“Well, let me take a look at it more carefully – good question,” he said, laughing, as he headed into the Democrats’ weekly lunch in the Capitol.” H/T Politico.

Yeah, Chris, that’s hysterical. Apparently he’s been too busy attending ritzy fundraisers to read up on things that matter to his constituents.

Rob Simmons released a statement on his website calling out Dodd on his response; I haven’t seen anything from Caligiuri or Alpert.

Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.

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