You Win Some, You Lose Some
Alas, the City of St. Paul has bowed to liberal pressure and decided to scuttle a case that was all set for Supreme Court argument this term. The case presented the issue whether the Fair Housing Act allows “disparate impact” lawsuits — that is, lawsuits that challenge practices as illegally discriminatory because of their statistically disproportionate effects, even though the challenged practice is nondiscriminatory by its terms, in its intent, and in its application. Too bad (and this unseemly and eleventh-hour action by the city ought to raise some eyebrows among the justices). But the good news is that this opens up another slot for oral argument this term, so perhaps the Court will make room for the affirmative-action challenge in Fisher v. University of Texas, the much-delayed conference for which is scheduled for next Friday.