29 Jun Supreme Court: the impact of policy matters, not just its intent
In a week full of happy Supreme Court decisions, the Court handed down a third landmark ruling: on June 25, in Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project, the high court ruled that the Texas Department of Housing had engaged in discrimination by locating the preponderance of its Section 8 housing in predominantly black neighborhoods, thereby reinforcing segregated housing patterns. Though the housing policy was not explicitly discriminatory, the evidence showed its effects were. According to the court’s ruling, the policy’s effects were as meaningful as its intent in proving discrimination. In short, policies can now be legally judged on their impacts.
As a firm dedicated to the evidence-based evaluation of programs and policy, this week we celebrate this quieter SCOTUS decision. Hats off to evidence-based evaluation in all things, from the board room to the court room!