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Supreme Court Upholds 'Disparate Impact' in Key Fair Housing Decision

A highly anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the concept of "disparate impact" at the heart of the Fair Housing Act.
June 25, 2015, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion Thursday morning that affirms the understanding of housing discrimination that has guided the nation for nearly 50 years," reports Kriston Capps.

"Led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 to affirm the decision of the Fifth Circuit in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. The ruling supports one of the tentpoles of the nation’s Civil Rights legislation."

The decision will allow lawsuits against policies that prove to have adverse effects for minority populations, regardless of the intentions of the policies. The legal ability to prove "disparate impact" is, as Capps referenced, a central tenant of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Capps provides the context for the ruling and the controversy in Texas that led to the Supreme Court case and also notes that the decision came as a little bit of a surprise.

In a separate article, Tez Clarke also reports on the ruling with a succinct, point-by-point explainer of the ruling.

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Published on Thursday, June 25, 2015 in CityLab
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