Court unfreezes case against fair housing regs

A lawsuit challenging the reach of federal fair housing regulations is back in play, following the settlement of legal challenges that had risen to the Supreme Court, The Wall Street Journal reports.

At issue in the case are federal rules allowing for "disparate-impact" claims, in which plaintiffs can challenge housing practices on grounds that they affect minorities disproportionately without having to prove intentional discrimination, according to the Journal.

Proponents argue the Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations protect minority rights, but a pair of trade groups sees the issue differently.

“The American Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies are challenging the rule, saying the Fair Housing Act ‘prohibits only intentional discrimination and not practices that result in a disparate impact,” the WSJ’s Brent Kendall writes.

“The groups contend the HUD rule would disrupt how insurers determine rates for homeowners' policies.”

The lawsuit had been on hold while two similar cases were pending before the Supreme Court. But settlements in those cases prompted U.S. District Judge Richard Leon to restart the trade groups suit.

“The issue could return to the Supreme Court for a third time, according to lawyers familiar with the situation,” Kendall writes.

Check out the full Wall Street Journal story here.