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American Ins. Association v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

November 7, 2014

AMERICAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATION, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, et al., Defendants

For AMERICAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES, Plaintiffs: Adam Joshua Podoll, Allison B. Jones, Kannon K. Shanmugam, LEAD ATTORNEYS, WILLIAM & CONNOLLY, LLP, Washington, DC.

For UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, SHAUN DONOVAN, in his official capacity as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Defendants: Daniel Paul Mosteller, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Kyle Renee Freeny, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

For JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., ALLIED EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, Amicus: Chris Fedeli, LEAD ATTORNEY, JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Washington, DC.

For NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING ALLIANCE, LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW, NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION, POVERTY & RACE RESEARCH ACTION COUNCIL, NATIONAL HOUSING LAW PROJECT, LATINOJUSTICE PRLDEF, Amicus: Glenn Schlactus, LEAD ATTORNEY, RELMAN, DANE & COLFAX PLLC, Washington, DC.

For NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND, INC., AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW CENTER, NATIONAL COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT COALITION, Amicus: Ryan P. Haygood, LEAD ATTORNEY, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE & EDUCATIONAL FUND, INC., New York, NY.

For CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Amicus: Brian P. Morrissey, Jr., Carter G. Phillips, LEAD ATTORNEYS, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Washington, DC.

For AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION, CONSUMER MORTGAGE COALITION, INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY BANKERS OF AMERICA, MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION, Amicus: John Longstreth, LEAD ATTORNEY, K & L GATES LLP, Washington, DC; Paul F. Hancock, LEAD ATTORNEY, K& L GATES LLP, Miami, FL.

Page 31

AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION

[Dkt. ##16, 20]

RICHARD J. LEON, United States District Judge.

Plaintiffs American Insurance Association (" AIA" ) and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (" NAMIC" ) (together " plaintiffs" )[1] brought this action against the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (" HUD" ) and Julian Castro[2]--in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department Housing and Urban Development--(" Secretary" ) (together " defendants" ) on June 26, 2013, see Complaint (" Compl." ) [Dkt. #1], challenging defendants' promulgation of a final rule, see Implementation of the Fair Housing Act's Discriminatory Effects Standard, 78 Fed.Reg. 11,460 (Feb. 15, 2013) (codified at 24 C.F.R. § 100.500) (" Disparate-impact Rule" or " Rule" ), providing for liability based on disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act (" FHA" or the " Act" ), Pub. L. No. 90-284, 82 Stat. 81 (1968) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.). Plaintiffs claim that defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act (" APA" ), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq., by exceeding its statutory authority when it expanded the scope of the FHA to recognize not only

Page 32

disparate-treatment claims ( i.e. intentional discrimination) but also disparate-impact claims ( i.e. facially neutral practices with discriminatory effects). See Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (" Pls.' Mem." ) [Dkt. 16-1] at 8-9. Now before the Court are plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (" Pls.' Mot." ) [Dkt. #16] and defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment (" Defs.' Mot." ) [Dkt. #20]. After due consideration of the parties' pleadings, the arguments of counsel, the relevant law, and the entire record in this case, the Court agrees with plaintiffs that the FHA prohibits disparate treatment only, and that the defendants, therefore, exceeded their authority under the APA. Accordingly the plaintiffs' ...


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