The Supreme Court handed the Obama administration a major advantage Thursday in its effort to stop housing discrimination in neighborhoods that continue to struggle with racial segregation and a lack of investment, setting the stage for an even greater expansion of fair-housing enforcement.

“It is likely that the decision will lead to numerous lawsuits seeking to better define the requirements for a disparate impact claim that the majority lays out in its opinion,” said Richard Andreano, a partner at the financial industry law firm Ballard Spahr.

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