Supreme Court should allow disparate-impact Fair Housing Act claims

By Luis Gomez, Associate Editor, Vol. 20

Intentional racial discrimination is difficult to prove in suits like the one involving the nonprofit Inclusive Communities Project and the Texas Department of Housing, which went before the U.S. Supreme Court on January 21st. Proving the discriminatory consequences of policies implemented by government agencies and landlords, on the other hand, is comparatively easier. Whether segregation in a specific area and time period is intentional or not, it negatively impacts minority groups because housing is correlated with social and economic mobility. Thus, it is important that the Court not require plaintiffs to prove a defendant’s intent to discriminate, especially if we hope to chip away at the barriers to equal housing opportunity. For more on why the Court should uphold the disparate-impact standard, read more here.