Today’s Sacramento Bee carries this op-ed by PLF attorneys Ralph Kasarda and Wen Fa on Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, the Supreme Court case on whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act. We say “no” in our amicus brief to the Supreme Court and in our op-ed. Here’s a snippet:
Plenty of nondiscriminatory acts lead to differential effects. For example, a business may charge the same price to all customers for cars, televisions, legal services, and so on. That may affect members of some races more than others. Yet no one would say that the business discriminated on the basis of race. In fact, it’s discrimination to charge different prices to different people just because of their race.
Our opposition to effects-only liability is that it treats people solely as members of their racial group rather than as individuals. Just as there is more to our neighborhoods than their racial composition, there is more to people than their race. We hope that the court will move the nation closer to a day in which its people are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Read the rest here.