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Bank of America v. City of Miami

Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: May 4, 2018

What's at Stake

Whether cities have standing to sue under the Fair Housing Act for the economic impact of discriminatory banking practices.

Summary

The predatory lending practices that led to the housing crisis in 2008 had a disproportionate impact on racial minorities. Those practices also led to increased foreclosures that reduced the tax base of cities like Miami, and increased the need for social services. In an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court with a coalition of other civil rights groups, the ACLU argues that this economic injury is sufficient to give cities standing to sue under the Fair Housing Act. We also document the long history of housing discrimination, both public and private, and its impact on racial segregation.

After the Supreme Court ruled for Miami on the standing issue, it remanded the case to the Eleventh Circuit on a second issue: whether the banks’ actions had proximately caused the harms experienced by the City. We filed an amicus brief in the 11th Circuit arguing that the Fair Housing Act was drafted broadly to include this kind of harm.

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