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Crime and Punishment

According to Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, in Ricci v. Destefano:

Fear of litigation alone cannot justify the City’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations andqualified for promotions.

So, prima facie discrinatory results should not be rejected merely on the basis of fear of legal action and its consequences. This is an amazing position for a judge to take, since it undermines the very underpinnings of our legal system. Why have fines, imprisonment and the death penalty if these alone are not sufficient to deter someone from breaking the law?

I would appreciate some clarification from our constitutional lawyers. Thanks.

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I am a physicist by training, currently VP of an Engineering Co. in CT. I am active in the Association of Yale Alumni and local politics. I serve on the Cheshire, CT Planning & Zoning Commission and was previously its Chair.