Promoting 'Inclusive Communities': A Modified Approach to Disparate Impact Under the Fair Housing Act

Author:Cornelius J. Murray IV
Pages:212-258
 
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Louisiana Law Review
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Promoting “Inclusive Communities”: A Modified
Approach to Disparate Impact Under the Fair
Housing Act
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction ..........................................................................214
I. Disparate Impact Theory: What it is and Where it
Came From ...........................................................................219
A. Disparate Treatment .......................................................220
B. Disparate Impact ............................................................221
C. The Origins of Disparate Impact in
Employment Law ...........................................................222
1. Early Inklings of Disparate Impact ..........................222
2. Supreme Court Approval of Disparate Impact ........224
D. The Development of Disparate Impact in the
Fair Housing Context .....................................................226
II. Disparate Impact Toda y: A Proposal to Resolve the
Theory’s Uncertain Future Under the FHA .........................227
A. The Current State of Disparate Impact Under
the FHA ..........................................................................228
1. A Sign of Things to Come: Ricci v. DeStefano .......228
2. An Opportunity Lost: Magner v. Gallagher ............229
3. A Repeat Performance: Mount Holly v.
Mount Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. .........230
4. Round Three, the Potential Knockout Blow:
Texas Department of Housing and Community
Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. ........232
B. A Call to Amend the FHA .............................................236
III. Dissecting Disparate Impact Under the FHA: The
Standard Debate ...................................................................239
A. Examining the Current Standards Employed by
the Circuit Courts: Pros and Cons ..................................240
1. The Burden-Shifting Approach ................................241
2. The Relevance of Intent ............................................244
3. The Balancing Test ..................................................245
4. The Hybrid Approach ..............................................247
214 LOUISIANA LAW REVIEW [Vol. 75
B. Proposing a Proper Standard: The Modified
Burden-Shifting Approach .............................................249
C. Codification: Incorporation of the Modified
Burden-Shifting Approach Into an FHA Amendment ...254
Conclusion ............................................................................255
Appendix A ..........................................................................257
INTRODUCTION
In New Orleans, a cursory examination of the city’s
neighborhoods and surrounding areas tells the story. Lime green
dots shade almost the entirety of Central City, Algiers, Gentilly,
New Orleans East, and the Lower Ninth Ward.1 Conversely, blue
dots predominate in Uptown, Algiers Point, Lakeview, Metairie,
the Garden District, and the French Quarter.2 In Detroit, 8 Mile
Road forms the line of demarcation, blue dots blanketing north of
the road and green dots covering the south.3 Atlanta, Birmingham,
Chicago, and St. Louis present similar pictures.4 The colored dots
reflect data from the 2010 Census: one dot for every individual;
green represents blacks, and blue represents whites.5 The images
described come from “the most comprehensive map of race in
America ever created.”6 The map—particularly the close-ups of
individual cities—shows conclusively that racial segregation
continues to plague this country’s residential communities.7
Although a few cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los
Angeles have more integrated neighborhoods, racial segregation
proves to be the norm.8
Copyright 2014, by CORNELIUS J. MURRAY IV.
1. Dustin A. Cable, The Racial Dot Map, WELDON COOPER CTR. FOR PUB.
SERV., UNIV. OF VA., http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html,
archived at http://perma.cc/7MEA-7WUH.
2. Id.
3. Id.
4. Id.
5. Id. Further, red represents Asians, orange represents Hispanics, and
brown represents all others. Id.
6. Kyle Vanhemert, The Best Map Ever Made of America’s Racial
Segregation, WIRED (Aug. 26, 2013, 6:30 AM), http://www.wired.com/de sign
/2013/08/how-segregated -is-your-city-this-e ye-opening-map-shows-yo u/?viewall
=true, archived at http://perma.cc/X6XX-CWG3 (pre senting the work of Dustin
Cable, a statistician at the University of Virginia).
7. See Cable, supra note 1.
8. Id.

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