Fair Housing & Health Care Victories in the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court’s favorable rulings on fair housing in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, and on healthcare reform in King v. Burwell, affirm the continued need for legal and policy protections for millions of people across the country.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice consistently advocates on behalf of the most vulnerable individuals and marginalized communities in Massachusetts.  Today, we celebrate the Supreme Court decisions and the protections they ensure for all Americans, particularly people of color and low-income people.

In the housing matter, the decision re-affirms that the Fair Housing Act, a landmark civil rights law, will continue to cover actions with a discriminatory result—known as disparate impact—not just intentional discrimination.  In preserving this important tool of civil rights advocacy, the Court ensures that indirect discrimination will not be a bar to fair housing.  This outcome is a powerful reminder of President John F. Kennedy’s warning that “indirect discrimination” is “just as invidious” as direct discrimination.

In the healthcare case, the decision guarantees that individuals will continue to receive tax subsidies even if they receive health care through a federal exchange.  This outcome reinforces the important safety net that Congress put in place to provide health care for all Americans – regardless of where they live.

We are deeply encouraged by today’s favorable decisions and will continue to fight for access to fair housing and health care.