Parties Agree to Dismiss Fair Housing Act “Disparate Impact” Case Pending Before the Supreme Court


In November, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to decide whether “disparate impact” claims are cognizable under the federal Fair Housing Act and, if so, how such claims should be analyzed. The case was set to be argued in the Court later this month. On February 14, the case was dismissed, apparently by agreement of the parties.

The Court had granted a petition to review the Eighth Circuit’s decision reversing summary judgment in the defendants’ favor in Gallagher v. Magner, 619 F.3d 823 (8th Cir. 2010), which involved a challenge by owners of rental properties, under various theories of liability, to the City of St. Paul’s alleged “practice” of “aggressively enforcing” its Housing Code. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment but the Eighth Circuit reversed with respect to the plaintiffs’ “disparate impact” claim under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a)-(b).

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