In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court upheld the use of disparate impact analysis under the Fair Housing Act, which allows fair housing and Civil Rights advocates to show that government actions disproportionately harm affected communities instead of being required to find a “smoking gun” proving that intentional discrimination occurred. The Court also upheld the clear intent of Congress in allocating subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, dismissing a partisan attempt to undermine the law.
“Today’s ruling in the Fair Housing Act case is an important win for fair housing and for equality under the law,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “The Fair Housing Act was passed into law just days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and it stands as a tribute to his work and legacy. As last week’s murders in Charleston make perfectly clear, our nation’s long struggle with racism is far from over. But not all racism is so easily identified. Today’s decision means we still have a powerful tool to advocate for justice in one of the most critical areas of our nation’s public policy.
“The Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell is unquestionably the correct one, but in a sane court system, there’s no way this case would have made it to the Court, let alone received the support of three Justices. This decision should be a reminder of how much is at stake in our nation’s highest Court, and how critical it is that Americans consider the Supreme Court as we choose our next president.”