Should 'I didn't mean to' be a defense against housing discrimination claims?

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Plaintiffs in fair housing lawsuits may have to be able to prove that policies that have a “disparate impact” on minorities were intended to discriminate if the U.S. Supreme Court gets involved in a case in Texas.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by allegedly allocating a disproportionate number of low-income tax credits to properties located in poor neighborhoods in Dallas.

Texas says the policy was not intended to be biased, but 11 federal appeals courts have ruled that policies that have “disparate impacts” on minorities may violate the Fair Housing Act whether the impacts are intentional or not.

The Supreme Court has been eager to weigh in on the issue, but two previous lawsuits that might have allowed it to were settled, Bloomberg News reports. Source: bloomberg.com.