Court rejects disparate impact housing suit as 'wishful thinking'

Few legal theories are more pernicious than the “disparate impact” discrimination doctrine that ascribes any difference in outcomes by race to discrimination, even in the absence of any discriminatory acts.  The confirmation hearings for the replacement for outgoing AG Eric Holder may offer an opportunity to explore this theory, especially if rumored nominee Thomas Perez is chosen, for he is an outspoken advocate of the doctrine.

In the meantime, a federal judge threw out a disparate impact case. 

 A federal judge on Monday threw out a housing regulation issued by President Barack Obama's administration that said racial bias claims can be based on seemingly neutral practices that may have a discriminatory effect.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the Fair Housing Act allows for only direct discrimination claims and not those based on so-called disparate impact allegations. Leon wrote that the administration's view that the language of the Fair Housing Act assumes that disparate impact claims are permitted "appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking on steroids."

The ruling was a win for the American Insurance Association and other business groups that oppose disparate impact claims, which allow for a broad range of business decisions related to housing to be subject to civil rights litigation.

The Supreme Court will have the final word on disparate impact, and it is likely to come soon:

The immediate impact of Leon's decision is limited as the U.S. Supreme Court last month said it would take up a related case and is likely to decide by the end of June once and for all whether the Fair Housing Act allows for disparate impact lawsuits.

The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, does not specifically allow disparate impact claims but courts have permitted lawsuits making such allegations for decades. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue.

This doctrine should be abandoned for the nonsense it is.  Thomas Sowell, more than anyone else, has exposed the absurd thinking behind this “somebody’s gotta be discriminating if different groups achieve different results” doctrine.  The racial composition of the NBA puts the lie to it most visibly.

It is time for America to embrace Judge Leon’s ruling wholeheartedly.

Hat tip: Jim Netolick

Few legal theories are more pernicious than the “disparate impact” discrimination doctrine that ascribes any difference in outcomes by race to discrimination, even in the absence of any discriminatory acts.  The confirmation hearings for the replacement for outgoing AG Eric Holder may offer an opportunity to explore this theory, especially if rumored nominee Thomas Perez is chosen, for he is an outspoken advocate of the doctrine.

In the meantime, a federal judge threw out a disparate impact case. 

 A federal judge on Monday threw out a housing regulation issued by President Barack Obama's administration that said racial bias claims can be based on seemingly neutral practices that may have a discriminatory effect.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the Fair Housing Act allows for only direct discrimination claims and not those based on so-called disparate impact allegations. Leon wrote that the administration's view that the language of the Fair Housing Act assumes that disparate impact claims are permitted "appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking on steroids."

The ruling was a win for the American Insurance Association and other business groups that oppose disparate impact claims, which allow for a broad range of business decisions related to housing to be subject to civil rights litigation.

The Supreme Court will have the final word on disparate impact, and it is likely to come soon:

The immediate impact of Leon's decision is limited as the U.S. Supreme Court last month said it would take up a related case and is likely to decide by the end of June once and for all whether the Fair Housing Act allows for disparate impact lawsuits.

The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, does not specifically allow disparate impact claims but courts have permitted lawsuits making such allegations for decades. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue.

This doctrine should be abandoned for the nonsense it is.  Thomas Sowell, more than anyone else, has exposed the absurd thinking behind this “somebody’s gotta be discriminating if different groups achieve different results” doctrine.  The racial composition of the NBA puts the lie to it most visibly.

It is time for America to embrace Judge Leon’s ruling wholeheartedly.

Hat tip: Jim Netolick