Most Famous New Haven Firefighter Heads to Hearings

Ricci v. Sotomayor in D.C. hearings

By Andrew Pergam
|  Thursday, Jul 9, 2009  |  Updated 4:00 PM EDT
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Most Famous New Haven Firefighter Heads to Hearings

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Sonia Sotomayor's nomination process just got a little rockier.

When Judge Sonia Sotomayor goes before Congress for her Supreme Court confirmation hearing, the New Haven firefighter who filed a reverse discrimination lawsuit against the city will be called to testify.

Frank Ricci challenged New Haven's unceremonious tossing of promotional test results.  Sotomayor was on a three-judge appellate panel that took the city's side that too few minorities scored high and it would therefore be open to discrimination lawsuits.

The Supreme Court reversed the panel's decision last week, deciding in the firefighters' favor.

Sotomayor's confirmation hearings begin Monday. Ricci and another New Haven firefighter, Lt. Ben Vargas, will be one of 14 witnesses testifying for Republicans. 

Democrats plan to call witnesses including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and former Major League Baseball pitcher David Cone.

Yale Law School professor Kate Stith is also scheduled as a witness for the Democrats.

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