As we reported, the petition for certiorari filed in May 2014 by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Texas DHCA) in Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Dep’t of Housing and Community Affairs could give the U.S. Supreme Court its third opportunity since 2012 to provide clarity with respect to disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act and (by analogy) the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The respondent filed its brief opposing the Texas DHCA’s petition on July 16, 2014.
While a number of amicus briefs were filed in support of the petition, none were filed opposing the petition. Among the amicus briefs in support of the petition was a brief filed by nine financial services industry trade groups including the American Bankers Association, the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Mortgage Bankers Association. The housing trade groups that filed amicus briefs in support of the petition were the Texas Apartment Association and the National Multifamily Housing Council. Briefs in support of the petition were also filed by several public interest and public policy groups, including the Pacific Legal Foundation and The Cato Institute, and by a conservative interest group, the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund.
While the Supreme Court is most likely to rule on the certiorari petition when it begins a new term this October, it is possible the court will issue an earlier ruling in September.