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Following Oral Argument in Historic Housing Discrimination Case, Legal Team and Advocates to Speak at Supreme Court

For Immediate Release January 20, 2015

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, January 21st, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., a historic case on the Fair Housing Act that could threaten a crucial tool for addressing discrimination in housing.  Immediately following oral argument, the legal team for the respondent, The Inclusive Communities Project, and leading civil rights and fair housing leaders will give remarks in front of the Court.

WHAT: Media Availability Following Oral Argument in Historic Housing Discrimination Case

WHO:

  • Michael Daniel, Attorney for The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.
  • Demetria McCain, The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Shanna Smith, National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)
  • Barbara Arnwine, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

WHEN:Wednesday, January 21st
Immediately following the argument, approximately 11:10 a.m. EST

WHERE: U.S. Supreme Court
One First Street, NE

Additionally, beginning at 9:30 a.m., housing and civil rights advocates will gather in front of the Supreme Court to show their support for maintaining equal access to housing for all Americans.

About The Case:
The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Fair Housing Act will test our nation’s commitment to equal treatment under the law and will determine whether equal opportunity in housing continues to be one of our most cherished values.  The case focuses on Dallas, Texas, where the State of Texas approved the construction of affordable housing along racial lines.  Texas reinforced residential segregation by placing most of the affordable housing in African American neighborhoods instead of fairly distributing that housing across all communities to promote integration.

Approximately 3 million instances of housing discrimination occur each year.  When Americans are denied equal access to housing, it reduces the availability of good jobs, quality education, safe streets, and a clean and healthy environment, all of which are central to the American Dream. The Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold a central legal protection under the Fair Housing Act, termed “disparate impact,” which has been used for over four decades to address widespread discrimination in housing and which has been endorsed by eleven appellate courts.  It requires housing providers to use policies that apply fairly to all persons.

This case comes at a pivotal time for racial justice in this country.  The decision in this case will not only profoundly impact the housing choices of millions of Americans of all backgrounds but it will also shape the fabric of the neighborhoods and communities in which we live for decades to come.

About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers' Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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