Magee v. Central Alabama Fair Housing Center
IRLI filed a friend-of-the-court brief (attached here) in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of the state defendant in a lawsuit challenging Section 30 of Alabama House Bill (HB) 56, which prohibited unlawfully present aliens from entering into business transactions with the State of Alabama. The district court held that the enforcement of Section 30 in this case violated the Federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., (FHA) and was preempted in multiple ways.
IRLI argued on appeal that the district court’s FHA disparate impact holding was in error because:
the district court incorrectly created an immigration status protection under the FHA;
the challengers failed to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact as they did not prove a subset that is adversely affected by the application of Section 30; and
the state has legitimate, non-discriminator reasons for enforcing Section 30 and no less burdensome alternatives exist
IRLI also argued that the challengers failed to show that Section 30 was passed with a discriminatory intent against Latinos because:
the text of HB 56 demonstrates legislative concern with illegal immigration, not race;
legislative awareness or discussion of race is not per se evidence of discriminatory intent;
race must constitute a significant or motivating factor to establish discriminatory intent in a housing decision; and
the district court’s entire discriminatory intent analysis is incorrect because it is not based on the enforcement of Section 30.