Judge backs Iowa in black discrimination case

April 17, 2012 - 9:45 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ruled that Iowa's state government hiring policies have not discriminated against blacks.

Judge Robert Blink on Tuesday ruled against a class of up to 6,000 black employees and applicants passed over for jobs and promotions with Iowa's executive branch dating back to 2003. He says the state does not have to pay them lost wages or change its policies to track and eliminate disparities among racial groups.

The ruling came after Blink oversaw a monthlong trial last fall in the case, which has been closely watched by civil rights activists. Experts have called the case the largest class-action lawsuit of its kind against an entire state government's civil service system.