- Legal Expert News
- Law Firm News
- Career News
- Headline Legal News
- Legal Trend News
- Legal Business
- Local Court News
- Court Watch
- Legal Interview
- Topics in Legal News
- Press Release
- Politics & Legal
- Market News
- Courts: Bail reform working, but sustainable funding needed
- Catalan politicians in Spanish court in secession probe
- Supreme Court blocks some redrawn North Carolina districts
- Court allows Pennsylvania to redraw GOP-favored district map
- Court rules that Kushner firm must disclose partners' names
- Court rules Puigdemont must return to Spain for re-election
- Analysis: Outside groups may factor in Arkansas court race
- Pennsylvania GOP take gerrymandering case to US high court
- Top Pakistani court orders arrest of escaped police officer
- Malaysia's top court annuls unilateral conversions of minors
The justices ruled 5-4 that federal housing laws prohibit seemingly neutral practices that harm minorities, even without proof of intentional discrimination.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote, joined the court's four liberal members in upholding the use of so-called "disparate impact" cases.
The ruling is a win for housing advocates who argued that the housing law allows challenges to race-neutral policies that have a negative impact on minority groups. The Justice Department has used disparate impact lawsuits to win more than $500 million in legal settlements from companies accused of bias against black and Hispanic customers.
In upholding the tactic, the Supreme Court preserved a legal strategy that has been used for more than 40 years to attack discrimination in zoning laws, occupancy rules, mortgage lending practices and insurance underwriting. Every federal appeals court to consider it has upheld the practice, though the Supreme Court had never previously taken it up.
Writing for the majority, Kennedy said that language in the housing law banning discrimination "because of race" includes disparate impact cases. He said such lawsuits allow plaintiffs "to counteract unconscious prejudices and disguised animus that escape easy classification" under traditional legal theories.
"In this way disparate-impact liability may prevent segregated housing patterns that might otherwise result from covert and illicit stereotyping," Kennedy said.
Kennedy was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Legal News Media
Legal News is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of the site at any time. Your This site is solely for your personal use. You are, of course, welcome to print or otherwise copy material from this site for your personal use. However, you may not distribute, exchange, modify, sell or transmit anything you copy from this Site, including but not limited to any text, images, audio and video, for any business, commercial or public purpose. Any unauthorized use of the text, images, audio and video may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity and civil and criminal statutes.