Chicago ordered to hire black fire fighters so that their share of the jobs better reflects their share of the population
Yet, since Richmond v. Croson , the Supreme Court has held that these preferences must pass the difficult "strict scrutiny test" and will be invalidated unless they promote a "compelling" governmental interest. Remedial efforts to rectify past discrimination will only be approved if narrowly tailored to correct specific instances of discrimination. . . . "The [strict scrutiny] test also ensures that the means chosen 'fit' this compelling goal so closely that there is little or no possibility that the motive for classification was illegitimate racial preference or stereotype." . . . In the case of police, this means that minority police officers are being employed not because diversity is intrinsically valued but because it is believed to help lower the crime rate.
Now from the Chicago Sun-Times:
When results from the 1995 entrance exam were disappointing for minorities, the city established a cut-off score of 89 and hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well-qualified” candidates.
In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly white status quo, since 78 percent of those ‘“well-qualified’’ candidates were white.
Currently 19 percent of Chicago’s 5,000 firefighters and paramedics are African-American. The force is 68 percent white and 11 percent Hispanic.
“By comparison to the Police Department, African-Americans are dramatically under-represented. There will [now] be 111 additional African-Americans. That’s a very good thing,” Karsh said. . . .