Monday, July 13, 2009

Frank Ricci: Firefighter, Successful Supreme Court Litigant... Serial Suer?

Dahlia Lithwick writes at Slate about Frank Ricci's penchant for filing suits over jobs. In what might be irrelevant background, a pattern of sour grapes, or a person "repeatedly victimized by a cruel cadre of employers, first for his dyslexia, then again for his role as a whistle-blower, and then a third time for just being white," the recent victor along with the others of Ricci v. DeStefano also just might be "a serial plaintiff—one who reacts to professional slights and setbacks by filing suit, threatening to file suit, and more or less complaining his way up the chain of command." Ricci, who will testify during Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, is, as Lithwick says, thus "not the typical GOP heartthrob." The GOP's stance on discrimination lawsuits seems to be along the lines of J-Friend Dan's philosophy of complaining. As he once said: "I don't believe in complaining about things you can't do anything about. On the other hand, I don't really believe in complaining about all the other stuff either." Switch "complaining" with "lawsuits" and you have the Republican philosophy, or its seeming one, regarding lawsuits for rights infringements (see their repeated attacks on tort lawyers and all that rigmarole).

Lithwick's piece is little more than a trifle, though it certainly paints Ricci in a different light (whether or not that's a fair different light is a different conversation) and makes one wonder why this wasn't brought up before now? Surely, this wasn't just discovered. And like I say, it might be irrelevant, but it could've been a choice part of the discourse anyway, considering how much the focus was on "being fair" to Ricci and his colleagues, who "earned" their promotions based on the standards given, regardless of whether the standards were the best ones to evaluate people with or were discriminatory as such Title VII was heretofore determined.

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