Condemning Trump Administration’s Assault On Anti-Discrimination Protections

Education, Employment, Health Disparities, Housing, Immigrant Rights, Police Accountability, Racial Justice, Voting Rights

Lawyers for Civil Rights Condemns Trump Administration’s Assault On Anti-Discrimination Protections 

As part of its ongoing rollback of civil rights protections, the Trump Administration is directing Justice Department officials to look for ways to eliminate one of the most potent tools of civil rights advocacy: the disparate impact doctrine. Lawyers for Civil Rights condemns this action, which would dramatically undermine anti-discrimination efforts in numerous areas, including transportation, housing, and education.

Under disparate impact analysis, an aggrieved individual may challenge practices of an employer, landlord, school, or other actor that have an unjustified disproportionate impact on a protected class without having to prove discriminatory intent. This is an important vehicle to challenge practices that, while not facially discriminatory, predictably and inevitably deny equal opportunities to people of color.

Lawyers for Civil Rights and other racial justice advocacy groups have long employed the doctrine to advance the fundamental goals of our longstanding federal civil rights laws.  It has allowed challenges to practices ranging from the provision of subprime loans to Latinx and Black borrowers—while white borrowers were granted prime loans—to disaster relief practices that disproportionately harmed Black homeowners trying rebuild their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Under the Trump Administration, the federal government has consistently sought to undermine civil rights and legal protections for everyone from transgender workers to voters of color.  The proposed elimination of disparate impact regulations will deepen this erosion by making it more difficult for people of color to challenge systemic barriers to equal housing, public transportation, and education.

Lawyers for Civil Rights will not allow these rollbacks to go unchallenged. We have advocated against the U.S. Department of Education’s attempts to undermine guidance created to ensure that schoolchildren of color are not disproportionately disciplined. We have submitted extensive comments to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development urging the retention of its disparate impact rule.

We are prepared to fight these efforts—in federal court if necessary—so that we can continue our life-changing advocacy to protect the rights of communities of color and ensure that they are accorded dignity and equality under the law.