Lawyers in Iowa discrimination case say they plan to appeal

District Court judge ruled that case failed to prove discrimination in state's hiring practices

Lawyers representing black job applicants turned down for positions with Iowa's executive branch are appealing a ruling that dismissed their class-action lawsuit challenging the state's hiring practices.

Attorney Thomas Newkirk announced Wednesday he had filed a notice of appeal, and would ask the Iowa Supreme Court to reinstate the lawsuit. The high court could hear the case, or send it to the Court of Appeals.

District Judge Robert Blink ruled last month the class of up to 6,000 blacks passed over for jobs and promotions dating back to 2003 failed to prove the widespread discrimination they alleged. Their case is based largely on research suggesting Americans subconsciously prefer whites to blacks.

Newkirk says he disagrees with suggestions that the case would require a new interpretation of the law to succeed.

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