5. Scope of The Fair Housing Act: Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action.
The question before the justices with regards to the New Jersey town of Mount Holly is very direct: Can so-called claims about unintentional discrimination still be violations of the Fair Housing Act? Those so-called “disparate impact” claims are raised in those circumstances in which racial or other discrimination may not have been the purpose of a given rule or policy but in which the effect of the rule or policy “disproportionately affects or impacts one group more than another,” as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held in finding that the Fair Housing Act can be violated by a policy with such a “disparate impact.”
The Supreme Court took the case, and part of the underlying question the justices will consider is whether it should defer to the Housing and Urban Development Department’s policy that such “disparate impact” cases are allowed under the law.