Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/49

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

Alito, J., dissenting

Americans or Latinos "because of" their race or ethnicity?

A second example. Of the 32 college players selected by National Football League (NFL) teams in the first round of the 2015 draft, it appears that the overwhelming majority were members of racial minorities. See Draft 2015, See also Miller, Powerful Sports Agents Representing Color, Los Angeles Sentinel, Feb. 6, 2014, p. B3 (noting "there are 96 players (76 of whom are African-American) chosen in the first rounds of the 2009, 2010, and 2011 NFL drafts"). Teams presumably chose the players they think are most likely to help them win games. Would anyone say the NFL teams made draft slots unavailable to white players "because of" their race?

A third example. During the present Court Term, of the 21 attorneys from the Solicitor General’s Office who argued cases in this Court, it appears that all but 5 (76%) were under the age of 45. Would the Solicitor General say he made argument opportunities unavailable to older attorneys "because of" their age?

The text of the FHA simply cannot be twisted to authorize disparate-impact claims. It is hard to imagine how Congress could have more clearly stated that the FHA prohibits only intentional discrimination than by forbidding acts done "because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin."


The circumstances in which the FHA was enacted only confirm what the text says. In 1968, "the predominant focus of antidiscrimination law was on intentional discrimination." Smith v. City of Jackson, 544 U. S. 228, 258 (2005) (O’Connor, J., concurring in judgment). The very "concept of disparate impact liability, by contrast, was quite novel." Ibid. (collecting citations). See also Tr. of Oral Arg. 15 ("JUSTICE GINSBURG: . . . If we’re going to