The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut were unfairly denied promotions because of their race. New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities. In Monday’s ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions.” He was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas. This is important at this time because this is reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge. This is really the only judgment that is flawed in her justice career and it is fresh ammunition. The court said it will return September 9 with Justice David Souter retiring there would be only eight justices unless Sotomayor has been confirmed by then. This was a good move by the court not giving Sonia Sotomayor the awkward position of ruling on this motion twice. The bad news for New Haven based on her track record the decision might have went the other way 5-4.