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Andrew L. Sandler Quoted in Law360 Article, "The Top Banking Cases In The First Half of 2015"

Andrew L. Sandler

Andrew L. Sandler was quoted in Evan Weinberger's Law360 article, "The Top Banking Cases In The First Half of 2015," on July 2, 2015. 

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. The Inclusive Communities Project Inc.

Overshadowed by other major cases on the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a surprise decision late in its term upholding the use of disparate impact in bringing discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act.

Many in the civil rights community had expected the high court to seriously restrict the use of the disparate impact theory, which allows plaintiffs to use statistics to prove discriminatory effect even if there is no intentional discrimination.

But writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that while the Federal Housing Administration does not have the same explicit language granting the use of disparate impact to bring claims of unintentional discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the intent was the same.

“It is true that Congress did not reiterate Title VII’s exact language in the FHA, but that is because to do so would have made the relevant sentence awkward and unclear,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “Congress thus chose words that serve the same purpose and bear the same basic meaning but are consistent with the structure and objectives of the FHA.”

"All of the cautionary language should cause disparate impact to be used in a less robust way than it has been used,” said Andrew L. Sandler, the chairman and managing partner at Buckley Sandler LLP.

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