On The Rush Limbaugh Show, host Rush Limbaugh claimed that today’s 5-4 ruling on the Ricci case in the US Supreme Court was really a 9-0 decision. Limbaugh claimed that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent criticized Sotomayor, when, she is not even mentioned in the dissent. He also said that the Court found that Sotomayor is a racist. Once again, Rush is inventing facts.
Here is the audio of Rush Limbaugh courtesy of Media Matters:
Rush said, “The Court found that she was indeed a racist. Let me tell you something, this is a 5-4 decision. The driveby’s in the state run media saying it is a 5-4 decision along ideological lines. If you read Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you’ll find out it is a nine zip decision, because even those in the minority found that the Second Circuit botched this totally by not even having a trial. They just found for New Haven in summary judgment. It is a disastrous case.” He also claimed that the scope of the Supreme Court’s ruling was limited because Sotomayor engaged in racist behavior.
Here is what Ginsburg wrote about both of the lower court decisions,” In a decision summarily affirmed by the Court of Appeals, the District Court granted summary judgment for respondents. 554 F. Supp. 2d 142 (Conn. 2006), aff’d, 530 F. 3d 87 (CA2 2008) (per curiam). Under Second Circuit precedent, the District Court explained, “the intent toremedy the disparate impact” of a promotional exam “is not equivalent to an intent to discriminate against nonminority applicants.” 554 F. Supp. 2d, at 157 (quoting Hayden v. County of Nassau, 180 F. 3d 42, 51 (CA2 1999)).”
I read through Ginsburg’s entire dissent, and I can’t find what Limbaugh is talking about, probably because it isn’t there. This isn’t a 9-0 decision, as Limbaugh claimed. It was a much divided 5-4 decision. Rush is trying to use this case to derail the confirmation of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but in her dissent Ginsburg states that she believes that the lower courts acted properly by relying on 25 years of legal precedent.
It is interesting that right wingers like Limbaugh applauded today’s decision which was based on conservative judicial activism. What the majority ruling accomplished today was a reversal of 25 years of employment discrimination decisions. Essentially this ruling does not allow employers to voluntarily comply with Title VII if they believe that a test was discriminatory. Under today’s ruling it must be demonstrated that a procedure was intentionally discriminatory.
The majority also stacked the deck, by taking the unusual step of not remanding the case back to the lower court. As Ginsburg wrote, “The Court stacks the deck further by denying respondents any chance to satisfy the newly announced strongbasis-in-evidence standard. When this Court formulates a new legal rule, the ordinary course is to remand and allow the lower courts to apply the rule in the first instance. See, e.g., Johnson v. California, 543 U. S. 499, 515 (2005); Pullman-Standard v. Swint, 456 U. S. 273, 291 (1982). I see no good reason why the Court fails to follow that course in this case. Indeed, the sole basis for the Court’s peremptory ruling is the demonstrably false pretension that respondents showed “nothing more” than “a significant statistical disparity.”
This decision won’t harm Sotomayor’s confirmation. Republicans will try to use this case as a weapon against her, but it won’t work. The Supreme Court did not proclaim Sonia Sotomayor a racist today, but the majority did continue to chip away at the rights of employees and potential employees as they relate to workplace discrimination.