The Precendent for Low IQ Police

Is it true that an applicant can be rejected from working as a police officer because they test too high on an IQ test? I’m referring to an anecdotal case where a person applied to be police tested too high on the IQ, was rejected sued the police was rejected again therefore setting a precedent the police can reject for this reason.

ChatGPT

Yes, it is true that there has been at least one notable case where an applicant was rejected from becoming a police officer because he scored too high on an IQ test. The case involved Robert Jordan, who applied to the New London Police Department in Connecticut. Jordan scored a 33 on the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which is equivalent to an IQ of about 125. The New London police reportedly set a policy of accepting candidates who scored between 20 and 27 on the Wonderlic, arguing that those who scored too high could become bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing expensive training.

Jordan was rejected on this basis and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming discrimination. However, his lawsuit was unsuccessful. In 2000, a federal judge dismissed the case, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the dismissal. The courts determined that the city had the right to select candidates who they felt were most suitable for the positions, including based on the results of the IQ test, as long as the policy was applied uniformly.

This case has been cited in discussions about employment practices and the criteria used for selecting candidates for various professions. It raises questions about the balance between selecting candidates believed to be best suited for a role and potentially excluding highly qualified individuals based on assumptions about their future behavior.

Caleb

So, the language of this precedent doesn’t just allow for them to reject people with high IQs, it conditions that they must apply their discrimination uniformly, which is to reject everyone with sufficiently high IQs, is this correct?

ChatGPT

Yes, that’s an accurate interpretation of the precedent set by this case. The court’s decision implies that as long as the New London Police Department applied its criteria uniformly—meaning they consistently rejected all applicants who scored above a certain threshold on the IQ test—it was not considered discriminatory in a legal sense that violates equal employment opportunity laws. The rationale was that the policy did not target a specific individual or discriminate based on race, gender, or another protected status, but rather was based on the belief that a certain range of IQ scores was more suitable for the long-term needs of the police force.

The decision essentially upheld the department’s right to determine the qualifications necessary for the job, as long as the standards applied were not unlawfully discriminatory and were applied equally to all candidates. This case has been cited in discussions about employment practices, particularly regarding the criteria employers can use to select or reject candidates, as long as those criteria are applied consistently and do not unlawfully discriminate against protected groups.

Caleb

What is the jurisdiction of the precedent?

ChatGPT

The precedent set by the case of Robert Jordan being rejected for having too high an IQ for a police officer position, and the subsequent legal rulings, fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals covers the states of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.

This means that while the decision directly impacted the case in New London, Connecticut, the legal precedent it set could potentially influence similar cases within the jurisdiction of the 2nd Circuit. However, it’s important to note that while appellate court decisions are binding on lower courts within the same circuit, their persuasive value outside the circuit can vary. Other jurisdictions may look to this precedent when considering similar cases, but they are not obligated to follow it.