CIR filed appeals in United States v. New York City Board of Education and several related cases. The cases have been called “notorious” by Sen. Kennedy. The trial judge termed them a “veritable tour de force of every aspect of affirmative action law in the employment arena….a legal juggernaut [for which]…many of the issues…have yet to be passed on the Supreme Court.”
The cases challenge the controversial federal tactic of settling employment discrimination charges with a consent decree that strips employees of relative seniority without allowing them an opportunity to contest the original allegations of discrimination. Last spring, U.S. District Judge Frederic Block agreed with CIR that many of the minority and female building superintendents who were slated to get increased seniority were not victims of the discrimination alleged in the case.
The next stop for CIR is the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit where CIR will argue that mere numerical disparities do not constitute adequate proof of discrimination and that a consent decree of this kind must be limited to providing relief to actual victims of alleged discrimination.