Supreme Court Declines to Hear Affirmative Action Case in Firefighting

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of white firefighters who claimed reverse discrimination in a Chicago lawsuit on Monday. The plaintiffs claim that white firefighters were overlooked for promotions due to an affirmative action program intended to increase the numbers of blacks and Hispanics in higher-level jobs within the Chicago Fire Department. The city’s legal representatives argued that the effects of past discrimination have not been erased, permitting the race-based promotion practices. Chicago is only one of several major cities with low levels of minorities in fire departments. Sixty-two percent of Chicago’s population is either African-American or Latino, while only 29 percent of the firefighters are representative of these racial and ethnic categories.


The Nando Times, 10/30/01; 2000 Census; NYC Equal Employment Practices Commission

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