ON-Lion Letter
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Ricci v. DeStefano, a case that could materially limit the use of hiring and promotion preferences by employers.  The case was brought by New Haven, Conn., firefighters challenging a decision by city officials to jettison a hiring test due to political pressure from individuals and organizations advocating greater hiring of minorities in the fire department.  A favorable ruling in Ricci could further undermine the use of the diversity rationale as a pretext for racial balancing -- not just by employers, but also by educational institutions.

The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) in Washington, D.C., filed an amicus curiae, or "friend-of-the-court" brief in Ricci.  CIR filed the brief on behalf of itself, the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), and the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI).

"There can be no dispute that the defendants refused to hire (or promote) plaintiffs," according to the brief.  "The only question is whether, with all facts and inferences favoring the firefighters, that refusal was because of any individual’s race.  It was.

"Accordingly, the firefighters met their ... burden of showing that race was a 'motivating factor' for the decision not to hire them," it continues, "and that defendants engaged in intentional discrimination" that violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports CIR, CEO, and ACRI.
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