Fair Housing Act—Standing

Bank of America Corp. v. Miami, No. 15-1111
Wells Fargo & Co. v. Miami
, No. 15-1112

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) permits any “aggrieved person” to sue for housing discrimination. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a person is “aggrieved” for purposes of the FHA whenever he has standing under Article III. The court acknowledged that, were the Supreme Court to consider the question today, it may well find, as a statutory matter, that a plaintiff must satisfy both Article III and a prudential standard that assesses whether the plaintiff’s claim is within the zone of interests that the statute was designed to protect. But the Eleventh Circuit considered itself to be limited by a series of Supreme Court decisions from 1972 to 1982 that address the right to sue under the FHA.

The Supreme Court has now granted and consolidated two cases to consider whether an FHA plaintiff must fall within the zone of interests of the anti-discrimination statute.