After Gutting the Voting Rights Act …

Senator Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Getty Images)

The Supreme Court appears poised to continue its systematic assault on our core civil rights laws. After gutting the Voting Rights Act just two years ago, the court set its sights on our country’s fair housing laws when it heard oral arguments today in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. As with the voting rights decision, a decision limiting the scope of the housing laws would ignore the will of Congress and undermine basic principles of racial equality. But there is even more at stake in the fair housing case, because the wrong decision would reduce economic opportunities for working families and raise the risk of another financial crisis.

In 1968, Congress enacted the Fair Housing Act to combat segregation in housing. Congress drafted the act to give families two options to challenge discrimination: a claim that someone intentionally discriminated against them on the basis of race and a separate claim that someone adopted a policy or practice that had a disparate discriminatory impact on minority families.

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