A case involving "disparate impact," a statistics-based antidiscrimination method, will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Residents of the New Jersey town Mt. Holly are arguing that a new plan to demolish 30 acres of low-income housing to build homes of more than $200,000 in value discriminates against the poor members of the community. The case will be key in determining whether the government can use such statistical analysis to prove discrimination under the Federal Housing Act. A previous case concerning a disparate-impact claim in St. Paul was settled and subsequently dropped from the court.

John L. Culhane, Jr., a business and finance partner at Ballard Spahr, weighed in on the case. “The perception is the Supreme Court has taken this case because it feels there is no disparate-impact theory of liability, and is prepared to rule to that effect.”

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