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What the Supreme Court's 'Disparate Impact' Decision Means for the Future of Fair Housing

The surprising 5-4 decision affirms the original intent of the 50-year-old Fair Housing Act: that implicit discrimination is as destructive as explicit discrimination.
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Carlos Barria/Reuters

The Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion Thursday morning that affirms the understanding of housing discrimination that has guided the nation for nearly 50 years.

Led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 to affirm the decision of the Fifth Circuit in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. The ruling supports one of the tentpoles of the nation’s Civil Rights legislation. (Read the opinion here.)