Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/27

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Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)

Opinion of the Court

boards may pursue the goal of bringing together students of diverse backgrounds and races through other means, including strategic site selection of new schools; [and] drawing attendance zones with general recognition of the demographics of neighborhoods"). Just as this Court has not "question[ed] an employer's affirmative efforts to ensure that all groups have a fair opportunity to apply for promotions and to participate in the [promotion] process," Ricci, 557 U. S., at 585, it likewise does not impugn housing authorities’ race-neutral efforts to encourage revitalization of communities that have long suffered the harsh consequences of segregated housing patterns. When setting their larger goals, local housing authorities may choose to foster diversity and combat racial isolation with race-neutral tools, and mere awareness of race in attempting to solve the problems facing inner cities does not doom that endeavor at the outset.

The Court holds that disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act upon considering its results-oriented language, the Court’s interpretation of similar language in Title VII and the ADEA, Congress' ratification of disparate-impact claims in 1988 against the backdrop of the unanimous view of nine Courts of Appeals, and the statutory purpose.

III

In light of the longstanding judicial interpretation of the FHA to encompass disparate-impact claims and congressional reaffirmation of that result, residents and policymakers have come to rely on the availability of disparate-impact claims. See Brief for Massachusetts et al. as Amici Curiae 2 (“Without disparate impact claims, States and others will be left with fewer crucial tools to combat the kinds of systemic discrimination that the FHA was intended to address”). Indeed, many of our Nation’s largest cities—entities that are potential defendants in disparate-