Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/50

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Alito, J., dissenting

be realistic about this, . . . in 1968, when the Fair Housing Act passed, nobody knew anything about disparate impact"). It is anachronistic to think that Congress authorized disparate-impact claims in 1968 but packaged that striking innovation so imperceptibly in the FHA's text.

Eradicating intentional discrimination was and is the FHA's strategy for providing fair housing opportunities for all. The Court recalls the country’s shameful history of segregation and de jure housing discrimination and then jumps to the conclusion that the FHA authorized disparate-impact claims as a method of combatting that evil. Ante, at 5–7. But the fact that the 1968 Congress sought to end housing discrimination says nothing about the means it devised to achieve that end. The FHA's text plainly identifies the weapon Congress chose—outlawing disparate treatment "because of race” or another protected characteristic. 42 U. S. C. §§3604(a), 3605(a). Accordingly, in any FHA claim, "[p]roof of discriminatory motive is critical." Teamsters, 431 U. S., at 335, n. 15.


Congress has done nothing since 1968 to change the meaning of the FHA prohibitions at issue in this case. In 1968, those prohibitions forbade certain housing practices if they were done "because of" protected characteristics. Today, they still forbid certain housing practices if done "because of" protected characteristics. The meaning of the unaltered language adopted in 1968 has not evolved.

Rather than confronting the plain text of §§804(a) and 805(a), the Solicitor General and the Court place heavy reliance on certain amendments enacted in 1988, but those amendments did not modify the meaning of the provisions now before us. In the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 102 Stat. 1619, Congress expanded the list of protected characteristics. See 42 U. S. C. §§3604(a),(f)(1). Congress also gave the Department of Housing and