The Republican Judges' War on Anti-Discrmination?
Experts argue that one of the most important duties of a President is to appoint judges to the Supreme and Appeals courts. Although the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals is not considered the conservative court in the country (The Fifth Circuit Holds that honor), the court is the most Republican dominated court in the U.S. George W. Bush(7), President Reagan(5), George H Bush(3), and President Nixon(1) for a total sixteen judges. In contrast, Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton(2) and Lyndon Johnson(1) have only appointed a total of three judges to the court. The court oversees cases in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Arkansas. Republicans has blocked judicial appointments by President Obama.
Studies have found that about 17% of cases are reversed at the appeals court level. Our procedure was to look at race discrimination cases through FindLaw. We started with the most recent case and went back until we found a case where the Appeals court found in favor of the plaintiff (The person who is alleging that they had been discriminated on the basis of race).
Over the past two years, the court dismissed twenty-nine discrimination cases related to race, color or national origin 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29. In the cast majority of these cases, the judges dismissed the case before it was heard by a jury.
In the final case dated June 17, 2011, the race discrimination case was dismissed. However, the retaliation claim for filing a race discrimination case was not dismissed 30. Since this case involved counter claims, it’s unclear whether this decision could be considered a victory. The percentage of reversals for this brief and preliminary analysis presented here is not close to the 17%. It’s 3% if you consider the last case to be a reversal.
One last case was examined that was dated May 21, 2010 31. In this case, David Torgerson and Jami Mundell challenged the City of Rochester, Minnesota’s decision not to hire them as firefighters and in a split (2-1), the court dismissed David Torgerson’s national origin claim but allowed him and Mundell to proceed to a jury trial on Title VII claims involving gender and race discrimination. However, the defendants appealed the decision to the full court. This is referred to as an en banc decision which ruled in favor of the defendant. So far, the methodology identified in this story has not found a cases where the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff on a charge of race discrimination. Therefore, this is a preliminary article and The Impartial Review News will keep going back through the records until a more clear-cut case is found.
The above video is of one of the cases dismissed by the court. The victim in this case was shot by an off-duty police officer. In 2011, the victim and his family were honored by the Asian Pacific Americans For Progress. The case is pending before the Republican dominated Supreme Court.
by Todd Miller
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