Washington (WTNH) - The United States Supreme Court ruled today that whitefirefighters in New Haven were unfairly denied promotions becauseof their race.
In a 5-4 decision the high court said the city was wrong toscrap the results from a 2003 promotions exam because only twoHispanics and no black firefighters passed the test.
"I think that this is just proof positive that it's individualsand not statistics and we won at the Supreme Court today," saidfirefighter Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff in the case.
The city of New Haven said it decided to throw out the test toavoid a lawsuit from black firefighters because it might have beenvulnerable to claims that the exam had a "disparate impact" onminorities in violation of the Civil Rights Act.
Mayor John DeStefano said today that he was 'not surprised' withthe ruling.
Karen Torre, lawyer for the New Haven 20, says the Civil RightsAct was enacted to protect such instances of discrimination.
"We always believed civil rights laws as they existed protectedthese men from such blatant race discrimination and the SupremeCourt ruled in regard to that fact," Torre said.
Justice Anthony Kennedy said in Monday's ruling, "Fear oflitigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race tothe detriment of individuals who passed the examinations andqualified for promotions."
Kennedy was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Robertsand Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
The decision was a reversal of high court nominee SoniaSotomayor's decision as an appeals court judge.
Though the New Haven 20 feels vindicated with today's ruling,plaintiff, Lt. Matthew Marcarelli said, "The truest vindicationwill come on the day when all the badges are pinned on, the badgeswe are entitled to."
One of the mothers who lost a child at Sandy Hook reached out to help another family deal with tragedy.
A West Haven man has won a $12 million settlement against East Haven police after he was badly hurt by a drunk driver seven years ago.
A silver alert has been issued for a missing 27-year-old Griswold woman.
A 21-year-old Connecticut driver has formally pleaded not guilty in a highway accident that fatally injured a business writer riding his bicycle on Route 302 in Bethel.
The student center at University of Bridgeport was evacuated after smoke was reported coming from the roof, Wednesday evening.
New Haven's mayor has signed over ownership of the historic Shubert Theater to a not-for-profit organization that has operated it for the city for more than a decade.
Three young men in Norwich are facing assault charges for allegedly shooting paintballs at pregnant women and their children.
The court arraignment of a Central Connecticut State University student accused of wearing a costume that triggered a massive police response to the campus has been delayed another month.
Yesterday we saw our first snowfall across the state. Many kids had their first snow days and many of you called in to tell us how you felt about the weather. Lots of you questioned why there were so many school closings and cancellations …
Fourteen playgrounds and counting: the Sandy Hook Ground Project is more than half way to their goal to pay tribute to each of the 26 victims of the Newtown shooting.