Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/39

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

Thomas, J., dissenting

in a new context.

My position remains the same. Whatever deference is due Griggs as a matter of stare decisis, we should at the very least confine it to Title VII. We should not incorporate it into statutes such as the Fair Housing Act and the ADEA, which were passed years before Congress had any reason to suppose that this Court would take the position it did in Griggs. See Smith, supra, at 260 (opinion of O'Connor, J.). And we should certainly not allow it to spread to statutes like the Fair Housing Act, whose operative text, unlike that of the ADEA’s, does not even mirror Title VII's.

Today, however, the majority inexplicably declares that "the logic of Griggs and Smith" leads to the conclusion that "the FHA encompasses disparate-impact claims." Ante, at 11. Justice Alito ably dismantles this argument. Post, at 21–28 (dissenting opinion). But, even if the majority were correct, I would not join it in following that "logic" here. "[E]rroneous precedents need not be extended to their logical end, even when dealing with related provisions that normally would be interpreted in lockstep. Otherwise, stare decisis, designed to be a principle of stability and repose, would become a vehicle of change . . . distorting the law." CBOCS West, Inc. v. Humphries, 553 U. S. 442, 469–470 (2008) (THOMAS, J., dissenting) (footnote omitted). Making the same mistake in different areas of the law furthers neither certainty nor judicial economy. It furthers error.

That error will take its toll. The recent experience of the Houston Housing Authority (HHA) illustrates some of the many costs of disparate-impact liability. HHA, which provides affordable housing developments to low-income residents of Houston, has over 43,000 families on its waiting lists. The overwhelming majority of those families are black. Because Houston is a majority-minority city with minority concentrations in all but the more affluent areas,