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Student Project: The Fair Housing Act and Racism: Landmark Case

This research guide offers various resources to analyze how the Fair Housing Act addresses racism.

Landmark Supreme Court Case

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2507 (2015).

In this landmark Supreme Court case, the justices held that a disparate impact claim is cognizable under the FHA in a 5-4 decision.  While discriminatory intent was always cognizable under the FHA, the question in this case was whether disparate impacts were also cognizable under the FHA. Delivered by Justice Kennedy, the opinion discussed segregated housing patterns, and the history of the FHA and its Amendments at length.  Justice Kennedy spoke of the two major antidiscrimination statutes that preceded the FHA: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of of 1964, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967.  He then analyzed precedent cases set by these statutes, and how those precedent cases instructed the courts to include disparate impact causes of action under these statutes.  This same logic was applied to the FHA, accepting disparate impact claims for this antidiscrimination statute as well. 

Oral Arguments and Briefs

 

Analyses and Discussions of the Case