Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good for Nothing Garaufis

The tyranny of federal judgships is on disgraceful display in the courtoom of Nicholas Garaufis-a jurist that should be held up for public ridicule for his perverse view of what constitutes discrimination. Fighting the city because of its reluctance to enforce quotas on the FDNY, this poor excuse for a judge is drawing a line in the sand: "A Brooklyn federal judge has drawn a new line in the sand in his battle with the Bloomberg administration over Fire Department hiring. Judge Nicholas Garaufis today handed down a new ultimatum to the city: find an unbiased way to hire firefighters by next month or wait a year until a new, nondiscriminatory test is developed. Garaufis also barred the city from hiring any probationary firefighters until October 31 — extending his previous injunction by one month — after he ruled that the current FDNY test discriminates against blacks and Hispanics. The action came as the result of an ongoing lawsuit against the city."

But what exactly is biased about the previous written test for the department? Aside from the fact that Blacks and Hispanics score lower than white applicants, there is little that can be shown as discriminatory-but apparently that is enough for this quota king. And he is playing my way or the highway with the public safety: "The city agreed to develop a new test, but had argued that it needed to hire at least 300 more probies immediately to keep a lid on the millions of dollars being spent on over time every month. The administration, however, refused to pick one of five hiring methods proposed by Garaufis, because all depended on racial quotas, according to city lawyers. If officials do not come up with a solution for hiring firefighters that the judge believes is lawful, he threatened today to permanently bar the city from hiring until a new non-discriminatory test has been drafted."

If we go back to the roots of all this-in the Civil Rights Law of 1964-we recall how a certain civil rights crusader furiously argued that the law would not lead to the imposition of quotas: "The reality is, unfortunately, that racial quotas are the inevitable by-products of our anti-discrimination laws. When Barry Goldwater explained how the 1964 Civil Rights Act would lead to quotas, Hubert Humphrey famously promised to eat a printed copy of the law if it ever happened. But merely a half-decade later, quotas were commonplace."

But it is we, the citizens of NYC, who are unfortunately bequeathed Judge Garaufis; a man who sees the city's upholding of nondiscriminatory standards as an act of blatant racism simply because not enough minority applicants are scoring high enough. Well, judge, too bad. These tests are well known, in both style and content, and all that any applicant needs to do is study harder. As Coach Lombardi once said, "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."


Michael Goodwin weighs in on Garaufis and makes the following telling point about the judge's constitutional scholarship: "Judges usually reject quotas, not encourage them. But federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis is acting like a diva in search of a soap opera.The former Queens Democratic political hack—nine years as general counsel to the borough president—shows the dangers of judges imposing their politics on society."

So, all he learned about the constitution must have been at the knee of Claire Shulman? This is beyond an outrage, and this piece of judicial drek should be removed from the bench. But we need to give a major shout out to the mayor-and you all know that does pain us to have to do; but fair is fair, and here's why we think Mike Bloomberg deserves a major pat on the back: "Mayor Bloomberg, on the John Gambling radio show, forcefully hit the two most important points at stake. “If my kids are in that building, I want the best-trained, smartest firefighter that we can possibly have come in through that door,” he said. Later, he added, “We’re playing with what, I think, is one of the basic tenets of America: that everybody has equal opportunity and it’s not a system where we demand equal results.”

And for saying that, the mayor deserves-and gets-the last word.