This week, the Supreme Court will consider the reverse discrimination claim of Marcarelli and a group of white firefighters. They all passed a promotion exam, but the city threw out the test because no blacks would have been promoted, saying the exam had a "disparate impact" on minorities likely to violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Besides affecting how race can be considered in filling government and perhaps even private jobs, the dispute also addresses broader questions about racial progress: Do minorities and women still need legal protection from discrimination, or do the monumental civil rights laws that created a more equal nation now cause more harm than good? Also, beneath the specific details of the firefighters' lawsuit lies an uncomfortable truth: On most standardized tests, regardless of the subject, blacks score lower than whites. Supreme Court to consider reverse discrimination case that could transform hiring nationwide -- Newsday.com Affirmitive action laws are not needed to make up for past racism, they are needed to make up for present IQ differences.