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Reject Thomas Perez as Labor secretary

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Add a deal that preserved an anti-business legal doctrine to advocacy for illegal aliens, assaults on state voter ID laws and other reasons why the Senate must reject President Obama's nominee for Labor secretary, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez.

Senate Republicans hit him hard at an April 18 confirmation hearing over a federal whistleblower lawsuit against St. Paul, Minn., that allegedly was dropped in exchange for St. Paul withdrawing a U.S. Supreme Court case of its own that “threatened to overturn disparate impact, a legal theory that allows minorities to accuse employers of discrimination for using neutral standards that do not yield enough minority hires,” The Washington Free Beacon reports.

Mr. Perez denies brokering such a deal. But the wrongheaded legal doctrine he favors — derived from Supreme Court cases and codified by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in the 1991 Civil Rights Act — apparently was more important to him than the $200 million taxpayers could have gained from the whistleblower case.

Seeking to guarantee outcomes, not opportunities, “disparate impact” perversely necessitates factoring race into hiring decisions. Inviting needless litigation, it has prevented commonsense use of criminal records, high school diplomas and aptitude tests in screening applicants — and unnecessarily driven up business costs.

“Disparate impact” needs to go — whether by court ruling or congressional action. And no supporter of it should be Labor secretary.

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