What does Sotomayor have against white males?

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I'm betting Judge Sonia Sotomayor, that wise Latina female, isn't feeling too wise these days.

Or maybe she is. After all, four current Supreme Court justices feel exactly as Sotomayor does: that it's perfectly fine to discriminate against white males.

Justices John Paul Stevens, the now-retired David Souter, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were in the minority who concluded that the city of New Haven didn't discriminate against 19 white firefighters and one Hispanic.

Here, in the plain, simpler language those justices tried to avoid, is what they really mean: it's OK to discriminate against white males.

Sotomayor and her two cohorts on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said the same thing, only they tried to purty up the affair by claiming the city of New Haven was simply trying to comply with Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

But Stevens, Breyer and Ginsburg don't have the problem Sotomayor has: They're already on the court, their anti-white male bias notwithstanding.

Sotomayor is trying to get on the court, and it's possible that her now-famous comment about white males may come back to bite her in the tush.

So that we're all clear, let's review that quote: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

One of those better Sotomayor conclusions was, apparently, to stick it to 19 white male firefighters in the New Haven Fire Department. All were high scorers on an exam that not one person has disputed was race-neutral and fair.

In fact, all evidence indicates that the city of New Haven went out of its way to make sure the test was race-neutral and fair. Now the forces of left-wing orthodoxy are telling us that fair isn't good enough.

I can't say I'm surprised by the development. Five years ago, Baltimore was in a similar situation. All the cadets in its firefighter class were white.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley was still mayor of Baltimore then. He went darned near apoplectic. How could the fire department, O'Malley fumed, recruit an all-white class?

By a fair process, that's how. Over 800 people took the entrance exams in 2002 and half of them failed. Many of them were white, but they got no love from the O'Malleys and Sotomayors of the world.

The city of Baltimore tossed out that particular civil service exam, even though, as in New Haven, the exam was found to be the least adverse impact on minorities.

At this point, it might be necessary to dispel some politically correct nonsense. Had it been done long ago, the city of New Haven wouldn't find itself in this mess, and O'Malley wouldn't have gone into his hissy fit five years ago.

All exams, civil service and otherwise, are meant to measure individual achievement. No one can create a test that has the "least adverse impact" on a racial or ethnic group because tests don't measure group achievement.

And no one probably realizes that better than those white New Haven firefighters who scored lower on the promotion exams than some black firefighters did.

The whites who did poorly on the New Haven exam got no empathy from Judge Sotomayor. The ones who did got a swift kick in the teeth.

The confirmation hearings for Sotomayor are approaching. I only hope some senators - you can bet they'll be Republicans, not Democrats - have the gumption to ask her: "Ms. Sotomayor, in light of your 'wise Latina woman' comment and your ruling in the Ricci case that was overturned by the Supreme Court, just what is your problem with white males anyway?"

Does Sotomayor feel that white men can't be discriminated against? (Ginsburg came suspiciously close to saying just that in her dissent when she claimed that white New Haven firefighters have "no vested right to promotion."

They don't have a "vested right" to get their humps busted because of their gender and race either, Ms. Ginsburg.) Does she have a problem with a process that is race-neutral, fair and complies with the law of the land?

And if she does, then just why does she want to be a Supreme Court justice?

Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is a journalist who lives in Baltimore.

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Gregory Kane

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The Washington Examiner