Thursday, 02 July 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Like many other progressives, I was very excited about some of the Supreme Court decisions this term (healthcare, gay marriage) and deeply disturbed about others (Facebook threats should not be judged on a "reasonable person" standard, executions using new drugs can continue). One decision that did not receive as much attention but that is tremendously important, I think, is the Court's ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. In that decision, the Court held 5-4 that housing segregation, even if done unintentionally, violates the Fair Housing Act. In doing so, the Court affirmed that "disparate impact claims" about housing are legitimate. Although it is not clear that this will be the case, I hope that the decision paved the way for greater use of social science data by courts on other issues.

The Supreme Court has often rejected statistical evidence in support of disparate impact claims. For instance, in McKleskey v. Kemp, held that the significant body of research showing the racially disproportionate impact of Georgia's death penalty was inadequate to overturn that state's system of capital punishment. The court held that the ownership for proving that someone was a victim of discrimination fell on the petitioner, who must provide "exceptionally clear proof" of discrimination in his or her case. 

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  • Author 48605
  • Label Op-Ed
  • Related Content 31652,31694
  • Disclaimer Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
  • FB description I was excited about some of the Supreme Court decisions this term and deeply disturbed about others.

Pipeline Coming: Anticipating Environmental Devastation in New Hampshire

Thursday, 02 July 2015 00:00 By Marianne Salcetti, Truthout | Op-Ed

This 2015 spring moving into early summer time feels different from my previous 11 rural ones in southwest NewHampshire. After a winter entombed in ice and snow with daily shoveling of paths for my dog with sides so high, I couldn't see her from the window as she traipsed about, more was expected.

Everything seems a bit less lush, not bursting with spring sun to announce survival of a harsh five months. Or maybe it's me as I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country wake up these days and contemplate: Pipeline coming ... Pipeline coming ...

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  • Author 51003
  • Label Op-Ed
  • Disclaimer Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
  • FB description We take pictures of the surveyors and post them on social media. Lately, they have started taking pictures of us.

Confederate Lifestyle

By Matt Bors, Universal UClick | Cartoon

Now that US and Cuba are opening embassies in each other's countries, what else needs to happen to support the process of détente between the two countries? During a visit to Cuba, Marjorie Cohn posed this question to René González and Antonio Guerrero, members of the "Cuban Five," whose release from US prison was critical to the historic détente. Their reply? End the embargo and close Guantánamo.

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Like many other progressives, I was very excited about some of the Supreme Court decisions this term (healthcare, gay marriage) and deeply disturbed about others (Facebook threats should not be judged on a "reasonable person" standard, executions using new drugs can continue). One decision that did not receive as much attention but that is tremendously important, I think, is the Court's ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. In that decision, the Court held 5-4 that housing segregation, even if done unintentionally, violates the Fair Housing Act. In doing so, the Court affirmed that "disparate impact claims" about housing are legitimate. Although it is not clear that this will be the case, I hope that the decision paved the way for greater use of social science data by courts on other issues.

The Supreme Court has often rejected statistical evidence in support of disparate impact claims. For instance, in McKleskey v. Kemp, held that the significant body of research showing the racially disproportionate impact of Georgia's death penalty was inadequate to overturn that state's system of capital punishment. The court held that the ownership for proving that someone was a victim of discrimination fell on the petitioner, who must provide "exceptionally clear proof" of discrimination in his or her case. 

Additional Info

  • Author 48605
  • Label Op-Ed
  • Related Content 31652,31694
  • Disclaimer Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
  • FB description I was excited about some of the Supreme Court decisions this term and deeply disturbed about others.

Pipeline Coming: Anticipating Environmental Devastation in New Hampshire

Thursday, 02 July 2015 00:00 By Marianne Salcetti, Truthout | Op-Ed

This 2015 spring moving into early summer time feels different from my previous 11 rural ones in southwest NewHampshire. After a winter entombed in ice and snow with daily shoveling of paths for my dog with sides so high, I couldn't see her from the window as she traipsed about, more was expected.

Everything seems a bit less lush, not bursting with spring sun to announce survival of a harsh five months. Or maybe it's me as I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country wake up these days and contemplate: Pipeline coming ... Pipeline coming ...

Additional Info

  • Author 51003
  • Label Op-Ed
  • Disclaimer Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
  • FB description We take pictures of the surveyors and post them on social media. Lately, they have started taking pictures of us.

Confederate Lifestyle

By Matt Bors, Universal UClick | Cartoon

Now that US and Cuba are opening embassies in each other's countries, what else needs to happen to support the process of détente between the two countries? During a visit to Cuba, Marjorie Cohn posed this question to René González and Antonio Guerrero, members of the "Cuban Five," whose release from US prison was critical to the historic détente. Their reply? End the embargo and close Guantánamo.