Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

Ricci v. DeStefano

United States Supreme Court
557 U.S. 557 (2009)



Firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut (the city) had to take a written exam before they could be promoted to lieutenant or captain. The pass rate for white candidates on the captain exam was 64 percent; for black and Hispanic candidates, it was 37.5 percent. The pass rate on the lieutenant exam for white candidates was 58.1 percent; for black and Hispanic candidates it was 31.6 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Based on the exam results, only white and Hispanic firefighters, and no African Americans, would be promoted. The city was faced between two lawsuits. If the city used the test scores, it would be sued by those denied promotions. Alternately, if the city did not use the test scores, it would be sued by those who would have been promoted if it had. The city decided not to use the test to make promotion decisions. White and Hispanic firefighters sued the city, arguing that they had been denied promotions in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (Ginsburg, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 496,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 496,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial