Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I am soooo done with this year. The kids are going crazy, and they're suspending the worst kids so they're out for the rest of the year.

....what's that I hear in the distance?

Oh yeah, my new school calling my name.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today, President Obama nominated a new Supreme Court justice. He picked a woman, Sonia Sotomayor from New York, as a replacement for Justice David Souter. I was at first very excited, because, even though I tend to be unapologetically conservative in my views, I really get excited when I see women advance in high ranks of power, especially when the promotions are deserved and not the result (direct or not) of affirmative action.

As I was browsing the blogs and the talking heads' commentary today, a story about a Sotomayor ruling caught my eye. If you have had any extended conversation with me, among many things, you'll know my dad is a professional firefighter. I will fiercely defend firefighters and police officers, among other civil servants, as that is how I was brought up. You'll also know that I was born and raised in Connecticut. To my surprise, I found an article referencing Sotomayor, firefighting, and Connecticut at once! However, my excitement turned to frustration as I read on, and Sotomayor's shine severely tarnished in my eyes.

A while back, the New Haven, Connecticut Fire Department administered an exam for promoting firefighters to the ranks of lieutenant and captain. Of those who took the exam, no blacks and only two Hispanics passed. The city of New Haven threw out the exam because it was "obviously" unfair. Insert eye roll here.

Firefighter Frank Ricci brought a lawsuit against the city of New Haven citing discrimination. It was thrown out, and Sotomayor was part of a three judge panel that upheld the decision. The following is a more concise version of what happened, by Katie Connolly on a Newsweek blog.

"The New Haven firefighter case is one of the most controversial rulings in Sotomayor's record, and one that will no doubt be a prime source of criticism from conservatives. The case, Ricci vs. DeStefano, was brought by Frank Ricci and a group of his firefighting colleagues (all non-black including one Hispanic man). The men were denied promotion after an examination to determine their eligibility to move up yielded no successful black candidates. As a result, the New Haven authority decided to discard the exam results and grant no promotions. Ricci and his colleagues argued they'd been discriminated against, but their case was dismissed. Sotomayor was part of a three judge panel on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld the dismissal. The case is currently pending before the Supreme Court. It raised considerable ire, sparking affirmative action debates."

Frankly, I was outraged at this ruling, and I remember reading online news about it when it happened, as I still follow Connecticut news from time to time. I am a firm believer in the idea that the best person for the job should get the job. There should be NO consideration of race, gender, eye color, or sexual preference, (or favorite song, for that matter).

If your house was burning down, would you want the best of the best firefighters out there, who obviously are well-educated and versed in firefighting to come help, or just the most diverse group?

Do you want the best police officer coming to your defense when you're in danger, or is diversity the most important thing in a police department?

Does skin color (or gender for that matter) really matter in these situations!?

Would a lawsuit have even been considered if only 2 left handed people passed the exam? How about if only a few blue eyed people passed? Would you care at all? Would it be an issue?

No, no, no, and no.

The people who knew their stuff passed the exam. Should they be penalized for studying their asses off and passing their exam? How would you feel in their shoes? What example does that set for their kids? "Well, kids, you can study, do your best, pass the test, and yet you still won't get what you deserve, because of your skin color/gender/insert-anything-else-here."

What worries me about Sotomayor is that she sided against firefighters and potentially took the safety of the people of New Haven and threw it out the window by saying the most qualified candidates for lieutenant and captain ranks in the New Haven Fire Department weren't deserving.

It scares me what she may decide for the law our country.