In Fair Housing Act Case Supreme Court Upholds “Disparate Impact” Tool
While King v. Burwell is the main case that the Supreme Court ruled on today, they also ruled on a case with large implications for housing.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. to uphold the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and a tool called “disparate impact.” This means that either an individual or institution only has to prove that a decision had a discriminatory impact. They do not have to prove that the discrimination was intentional.
“The reason it is so important is that acts of discrimination have changed shape in the decades since 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was instituted,” said Maria Krysan, a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University Of Illinois Chicago campus. She focuses on racial attitudes and racial residential segregation.
“[Discrimination has] become more covert, gone underground, more subtle – it can be both intentional and non-intentional discrimination and it can be founded on explicit stereotypes that people hold and are willing to admit to and also implicit biases that people have.” said Krysan.
She says continuing to have the “disparate impact” tool is important to civil rights groups.
More on the Supreme Court's ruling here.