Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/74

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Alito, J., dissenting

late the FHA), with 114 Cong. Rec. 2528 (1968) (remarks of Sen. Tydings) (urging enactment of the FHA to help combat violations of the housing code, including "rat problem[s]"). In the Court’s words, it is "paradoxical to construe the FHA to impose onerous costs on actors who encourage revitalizing dilapidated housing." Ante, at 19. Our say-so, however, will not stop such costly cases from being filed—or from getting past a motion to dismiss (and so into settlement).


At last I come to the "purpose" driving the Court’s analysis: The desire to eliminate the "vestiges" of "residential segregation by race." Ante, at 5, 23. We agree that all Americans should be able "to buy decent houses without discrimination . . . because of the color of their skin." 114 Cong. Rec. 2533 (remarks of Sen. Tydings) (emphasis added). See 42 U. S. C. §§3604(a), 3605(a) ("because of race"). But this Court has no license to expand the scope of the FHA to beyond what Congress enacted.

When interpreting statutes, "'[w]hat the legislative intention was, can be derived only from the words . . . used; and we cannot speculate beyond the reasonable import of these words.'" Nassar, 570 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 13) (quoting Gardner v. Collins, 2 Pet. 58, 93 (1829)). “[I]t frustrates rather than effectuates legislative intent simplistically to assume that whatever furthers the statute’s primary objective must be the law." Rodriguez v. United States, 480 U. S. 522, 526 (1987) (per curiam). See also, e.g., Board of Governors, FRS v. Dimension Financial Corp.', 474 U. S. 361, 373–374 (1986) (explaining that "'broad purposes'" arguments "ignor[e] the complexity of the problems Congress is called upon to address").

Here, privileging purpose over text also creates constitutional uncertainty. The Court acknowledges the risk that disparate impact may be used to "perpetuate race-based