Supreme Court: Fair Housing Act claims can use “disparate impact”

Reactions to the Supreme Court ruling that disparate impact claims are constitutional.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Trey Garrison
June 25, 2015
Full story

Tags: Disparate Impact, Housing: Discrimination, U.S. Supreme Court

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)


The 5-4 decision holds that there is a disparate impact claim under the FHA as a matter of statutory interpretation.

The majority opinion, which can be read here and which was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, strongly cautions that remedial orders in disparate impact cases that impose racial targets or quotas could be unconstitutional.


“The Supreme Court today held that disparate impact claims frequently used by civil legal aid organizations to fight housing discrimination are recognized under the Fair Housing Act. The importance of the holding to all citizens cannot be overstated. The Court lays to rest the issue of whether the Fair Housing Act permits such claims,” said Fred Fuchs, a veteran civil legal aid housing lawyer at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

“Had the Court ruled otherwise, it would have made it harder for civil legal aid programs to fight housing discrimination and robbed the Fair Housing Act of its enforcement teeth. This is a day to celebrate for all persons who support open, equal housing opportunity in the United States.”