Fair Housing Act

  • May 2, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law; Co-counsel for City of Miami in Bank of America v. City of Miami and Wells Fargo v. City of Miami

    On Monday, the Supreme Court gave civil rights plaintiffs an important victory when it ruled that the City of Miami had standing to sue under the Fair Housing Act to challenge discriminatory lending by banks. In Bank of America v. City of Miami, the Court, in a 5-3 decision, held that the city was an “aggrieved person” within the zone of interests protected by the statute. The Court also said the city needs to allege and prove that its injuries were proximately caused by the bank’s discriminatory lending and the Court remanded the case for the federal court of appeals to consider the causation question.     

    The Fair Housing Act, adopted in 1968, not long after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., broadly prohibits race discrimination in housing. The Act makes it unlawful “[t]o discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race . . . or national origin.” It also forbids discrimination by “any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions . . . in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race . . . or national origin.”

    A lawsuit to enforce the Act may be brought by the attorney general or by an “aggrieved person.” The statute broadly defines “[a]ggrieved person” to include any person who— (1) claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice; or (2) believes that such person will be injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.”

  • September 8, 2015

    by Jim Thompson

    In The American Prospect, ACS President Caroline Fredrickson details the harsh realities of contingent employment as the number of contract workers in the U.S.  rapidly increases.

    Steven Greenhouse at The New York Times discusses work site committees as a potential alternative to unions for the purpose of strengthening and securing workers’ protections.

    On the Ford Foundation Equals Change Blog, ACLU’s Anthony Romero remembers the life and work of civil rights champion Lynn Walker Huntley, an early member of the ACS Board of Directors.

    The Editorial Board of The New York Times argues that weak enforcement of the Fair Housing Act has left too many in economic isolation and unable to escape the social problems that flow from poverty.

  • July 8, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    David A. Graham writes for The Atlantic about a new study that reveals that most states do not have any black elected prosecutors, a fact that likely contributes to racial gaps in justice.

    At Salon, Matthew Rozsa explains the truth behind the most significant myths about the death penalty.

    Michelle Chen considers at The Nation how the new overtime rules will benefit the large number of “overworked and underpaid” in America’s workforce.

    At Slate, Andrew Kahn examines the different meanings of “dignity” used by Justice Thomas and Justice Kennedy in the marriage equality case.

    Emily Badger reports for The Washington Post on the White House’s new rules aimed at repairing the Fair Housing Act.

  • June 26, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Robert Schapiro, member of the Board of Advisors for the ACS Georgia Lawyer Chapter, writes in The Washington Post that Justice Scalia's vision of making the Supreme Court a conservative stronghold is over.

    Bill Chappell reports for NPR on the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry in all 50 states.

    ACS Board Member Linda Greenhouse writes at The New York Times about the ruling in King v. Burwell, arguing that the “whole exercise was unnecessary, the outcome too close for comfort” but worthy of celebration.

    Garrett Epps considers at The Atlantic how the Supreme Court narrowly saved the Fair Housing Act and disparate-impact claims.

    At Slate, Lisa Larson-Walker provides photos of the celebration of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision outside of the Supreme Court.

  • May 26, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Keith Alexander and Geoffrey Stone argue in The Christian Science Monitor that Congress needs to tackle surveillance reform in order to protect American privacy.

    At The Washington Post, Sari Horwitz reports that the Justice Department has reached a settlement in its investigation into the conduct of Cleveland police officers.

    Olga Khazan discusses at The Atlantic the increasing costs of abortion due to new state laws that require waiting periods before the procedure.

    Lawrence Hurley writes at Reuters that the biggest victor in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, a case concerning the disparate impact standard of the Fair Housing Act, could be Wall Street.

     At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost considers the national vote in Ireland to legalize same-sex marriage and how the U.S. Supreme Court will decide on the same issue.