The Corner

The one and only.

More Disparate-Impact Claims by the Obama Administration


I noted on “Bench Memos” a month ago that it appears there has been an increase in “disparate impact” claims against police and fire departments by the Obama administration’s Justice Department, and that these cases ought to be reevaluated now in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the New Haven firefighters case. Meanwhile, I see there also appears to be an uptick in disparate-impact claims by the Labor Department, with actions reported this month against Gerber Products and Kraft Foods. A disparate-impact claim, by the way, is one that challenges a selection device (like a test) not because it considers race or ethnicity, not because it was designed to discriminate, not because it has been administered unfairly, but simply because it has disproportionate results against this or that group. The indiscriminate use of this approach obviously drives employers to “get their numbers right.”


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review