Today has been the fourth day of U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor.Frank Ricci, the white firefighter from Connecticut who recently won his reverse discrimination case at the Supreme Court level, said today that an unfavorable ruling by Sotomayor and other Appeals Court judges in New York divides people along racial lines.
Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham says he’s really concerned over her decision in the firefighter case. “As a judge you’ve been basically in the mainstream. You’ve missed one of the biggest issues in the country or you took a pass. I don’t know what it is.”
Ricci and co-worker Lt. Ben Vargas attacked the appeals court ruling by Sotomayor and two other judges. But neither man voiced opposition to Sotomayor’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. Vargas actually identified himself as Hispanic and congratulated Sotomayor.
Ricci, Vargas and other firefighters sued New Haven after the city threw out the results of a promotion exam for lieutenants and captains after too few minorities performed well on the test.
A trial judge dismissed the lawsuit, a decision upheld by Sotomayor. Last month, the Supreme Court found in favor of the firefighters in a 5-4 decision that reversed the appeals court. Sotomayor testified that she was bound by earlier rulings. Sotomayor’s appeals court colleague Jose Cabranes issued an opinion disagreeing with her.