SCOTUS Opens Door For Cities To Sue Banks
May 3, 2017
The Supreme Court this week expanded the reach of federal housing law, opening the door for major cities to sue big banks over discriminatory lending practices that hurt low-income neighborhoods during the 2008 financial crisis. Lawyers for the banks said the Fair Housing Act forbids racial discrimination against “any person,” which means that cities may not suffer discrimination. By a 5-3 vote the justices ruled that cities can be an “aggrieved person,” and can sue over the impact of housing discrimination on the city’s finances. The ruling clears the way for Miami to sue Bank of America for allegedly “intentionally targeted predatory practices at African American and Latino neighborhoods,” which led to “foreclosures and vacancies.” – “We concluded that the city’s financial injuries fall within the zone of interests that the Fair Housing Act protects,” wrote Stephen G, Breyer in the majority opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts.
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