Friday, February 26, 2010
Things are going well. Since we began focusing on adding followers the numbers have grown very quickly. Thank you to those who have signed up and please keep spreading the word. Anyone can sign up- you don't have to be a firefighter to do so. Of course I also want to thank the fraternal groups who support us and would welcome the opportunity to address any group about Merit Matters.
The group has started to get attention in the media and this is crucial to getting our message out and refuting false information. The Chief-Leader newspaper has always been very fair but now we are also getting time on radio, TV and other newspapers like the Post. If anyone knows of a media outlet or personality who would like to report on Merit Matters please contact us or give them our website.
We will very soon be able to accept donations- all the legal requirements are in the process of being met and then, don't worry- we'll let you know where to send money!
We had a meeting in late January in Newark, NJ with 11 other cities to take the initial steps in forming a national group with the same goals as Merit Matters. Among the groups attending was the New Haven 20 and their attorney who, you will remember, won the very important Supreme Court case Ricci v DeStefano last summer. Also attending was the group from Philadelphia which was successful just this month in striking down the required quota hiring decree in that city (and this closely followed a similar decision in Clevelend just this past November). The decision against NYC and the FDNY last summer will most likely be appealed and if so will most likely be successful. If you live in the city contact your Council Member at 212-788-7100 and let them know you want the city to appeal. Another organizing meeting of this national group will take place in early March in Manhattan.
Spread the word!
Paul D. Mannix
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Spilled Chilli And Other Liberal Nonsense
By KAREN LEE TORRE
Monday, February 8, 2010
As if the New York City Fire Department has nothing better to do, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis has ensured that it will be embroiled in court proceedings for years, at enormous public expense, and for unsound reasons.
By judicial fiat, Garaufis invalidated FDNY hiring exams as discriminatory against African Americans. Acting as if racial imbalance in the FDNY was a social anomaly and the handiwork of racists in city government, Garaufis managed to transform nationally common statistical disparities in qualification rates into a ridiculous finding that city officials intentionally discriminated against blacks.
In an intellectually indefensible leapfrog, Garaufis cites the racial gap seen over years of fire department testing and concludes that this amounts to intentional discrimination because city officials were aware of this racial gap for years. This non sequitur is a convenient shield against a constitutional attack on one of the most obnoxious “remedies” in judicial history. Crude, standardless racial quota hiring will now be imposed.
Notably, and for reasons that ring hollow, Garaufis exempted New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg from the politically injurious “intentional discriminator” label. Bloomberg just happens to be the one who will decide how far the city will challenge Garaufis’ rulings. The seemingly irrational drawing of a line at the mayor’s door, while besmirching the reputations of the less powerful on the city’s political ladder, gives rise to the appearance of a judicial move calculated to increase the chances that
Bloomberg should not capitulate. He should fight it tooth and nail or Garaufis will be his new fire chief and take over the FDNY for life. Other like judges have done that and wrecked the agencies of which they took control.
Even before Garaufis, the FDNY, responding to pressure from race mongers, dumbed down its tests to the point they became a joke. Here is one of many outrageous examples: One test actually asked candidates what they should do if they discovered that a co-worker spilled chili on the floor and didn’t wipe it up. Adding to this nonsense, more than one of the moronic multiple choice answers was correct. Firefighters erupted in protest and disgust over this assault on their professional standards, right in the city where hundreds of firefighters lost their lives.
Even the spilled-chili type of questions won’t satisfy liberal activist judges, who know nothing about the jobs of these heroes, show little respect for them or concerns for their safety, and issue these offensive edicts from the safety and comfort of their chambers. That these lunatic rulings come almost entirely from President Bill Clinton appointees (and will no doubt proliferate under President Barack Obama-appointed “judges”) should be laid out for voters in November.
While we’re at it, let’s not stop with spilled chili for firefighters. Let Garaufis extend his logic to fix the racial gap in bar exam pass rates and stop pretending that education and knowledge are important to our jobs. Ditch those unfair questions about property and contracts. Let’s learn from the learned Garaufis. Here’s a suggested question on a judicially reformed multistate exam:
A witness you are cross-examining at trial starts to pick his nose. What should you do?
A. Yell, “Dude, you’re grossing me out” in front of the jury.
B. Offer the witness some Kleenex.
C. Move to strike the snot.
D. Start picking your own nose so the witness does not feel isolated.
Answer key: Both B and C are correct and you get two extra points if you are oppressed.
Maybe Garaufis will compromise and allow
Disgusted firefighters from around the nation are, at last, organizing nationally to fight against this elitist judicial assault on their profession – an overdue and welcome development.
Recently, countless thousands of firefighters gathered in
Karen Lee Torre, a New Haven trial lawyer, litigates civil rights issues in the federal courts.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Obama Team Pushes Quotas
The Justice Department is playing divisive racial games
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
January 22nd, 2010
Ignoring statutory language and recent Supreme Court decisions, the Justice Department filed suit Jan. 7 to force New Jersey to stop using its long-standing written exam to screen candidates for promotion to police sergeant. The suit effectively accuses New Jersey of not producing the right quota of black and Hispanic sergeants.
The Justice Department alleges a discriminatory effect - what is known in legalese as a "disparate impact" or "adverse impact" - because 89 percent of whites passed the screening exam from 2000 to 2008, while "only" 77 percent of Hispanic candidates and 73 percent of black police made the grade. This relatively slim difference in passage rates doesn't even meet the official legal standards for triggering a discrimination complaint.
The Department of Labor promulgates what is known as the four-fifths rule, which states that "a greater than four-fifths [selection] rate [compared to 'the rate for the group with the highest rate'] will generally not be regarded by Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact." New Jersey meets that standard. Moreover, in Ricci v. DeStefano last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of white Connecticut firefighters who were denied promotions they had earned through a fair exam. In that case, the high court was clear: It rejected anything approaching "a de facto quota system" and said the law "is express in disclaiming any interpretation of its requirements as calling for outright racial balancing."
The U.S. Code explicitly allows for disparate impacts of almost any size if the criteria used for promotion are not discriminatory in intent and are "job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity." Other case law makes clear that, as one text puts it, "the job in question has a direct impact on public safety." In the New Jersey cop case, the Justice Department made no effort to show evidence that the exam was unrelated to the job. Clearly, the test is designed to be both job-related and safety-related. NorthJersey.com paraphrases a Newark Police Department spokesman to the effect that "the approximately four-hour test covers traffic and criminal laws, as well as state guidelines."
If a police test covering traffic and criminal laws isn't both job- and safety-related, nothing is. And if about three-quarters of minority candidates pass the test, it's nonsense to assert it is discriminatory in effect, much less in intent. Yet the Obama Justice Department seems intent, in this case and in a series of others, on eliminating written exams for public-safety officers.
The Justice Department is way out of line. Most Americans understand that public-safety officers need to know the law. Objective tests are necessary to determine that they do, and mild statistical disparities should not invalidate such important examinations. When an administration's racial bean-counting threatens to stand in the way of public safety, the public won't see black and white - only red.