Howard University

Fair Housing and Civil Rights Clinics Submit Brief in Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc.

Fair Housing and Civil Rights Clinics Submit Brief in Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc.


On Tuesday, October 29, the Fair Housing Clinic and the Civil Rights Clinic of Howard’s Clinical Law Center submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. The brief was submitted on behalf of client Empower DC, a grassroots community organization that is fighting to preserve fair and affordable housing in Ivy City, a neighborhood in the North East quadrant of Washington, DC.

According to Valerie Schneider, assistant professor of law and supervising attorney of the Fair Housing Clinic, the issue before the Supreme Court in the Mt. Holly case is whether “disparate impact” will remain a cognizable theory under the Fair Housing Act. Schneider, also Counsel of Record on the brief, collaborated with Aderson Francois, professor of law and supervising attorney of the Civil Rights Clinic, and several law students to prepare and file the brief. Schneider said she was impressed by the students’ compelling and well-researched argument in defense of disparate impact analysis.

“Lack of fair housing options impacts nearly every aspect on an individual’s well being,” said the students in the brief’s Statement of Interest. “The effects of housing discrimination, both overt and covert and both conscious and unconscious fall disproportionately upon racial and ethnic minorities. Amicus curiae is one such community. It respectfully submits this brief in order to urge the Court to retain disparate impact analysis under the Fair Housing Act as a vital tool to combat housing discrimination.” The law students who participated in the brief are third-year students Aubrey Cunningham and Fatimah Stokely, and second-year students Amber Coulson, Zorba Leslie, Cadene Russell, and Binta Thiam.


Read the full brief.









updated: October 29, 2013