Justices Rule for White Firefighters

As expected:

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of white Connecticut firefighters in a 5-4 ruling that reverses an appeals court finding by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the Associated Press report.

The high court found that the firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

The AP story. The full text of the ruling. Kennedy wrote it. The breakdown is Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, Roberts & Thomas in the majority; Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter & Stevens dissenting.

A poll released over the weekend found most Americans want the Senate to confirm Sotomayor and believe she is “about right” ideologically. We’ll see what, if any, impact this has.

Janie Lorber at The Caucus writing before the ruling was released:

Either way, the case is all but certain to be the subject of scrutiny during her confirmation hearings set to begin in two weeks.

A number of events focusing on the Ricci decision are scheduled around Washington today, including conference calls organized by the conservative Federalist Society and the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, underscoring the partisan charge the case has taken on.

TPM points to a tweet from CBS News’ legal affairs correspondent Andrew Cohen:

“Could have been a lot worse for Sotomayor, whose candidacy for Court finds solace from four dissenting Justices. Political damage minimum.”

James Joyner weighs in, “Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion is absurd.”