Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/5

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

Opinion of the Court

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES


No. 13–1371


TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. THE INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES PROJECT, INC., ET AL.

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

[June 25, 2015]

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.

The underlying dispute in this case concerns where housing for low-income persons should be constructed in Dallas, Texas—that is, whether the housing should be built in the inner city or in the suburbs. This dispute comes to the Court on a disparate-impact theory of liability. In contrast to a disparate-treatment case, where a "plaintiff must establish that the defendant had a discriminatory intent or motive," a plaintiff bringing a disparate impact claim challenges practices that have a "disproportionately adverse effect on minorities" and are otherwise unjustified by a legitimate rationale. Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U. S. 557, 577 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). The question presented for the Court’s determination is whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act (or FHA), 82 Stat. 81, as amended, 42 U. S. C. §3601 et seq.

I

A

Before turning to the question presented, it is necessary