The Washington Post, August 18, 2018: Federal judge dismisses lawsuit accusing HUD Secretary Ben Carson of dismantling Obama-era fair housing law
A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit against Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and his agency, dealing a blow to advocates challenging how the department enforces fair housing laws.
Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, dismissed the case after finding that the plaintiffs, three housing advocacy nonprofit groups, failed to prove they were harmed by HUD’s move to effectively suspend an Obama-era rule requiring communities to address housing discrimination.
Howell, an Obama appointee, disagreed with the plaintiffs’ allegations that Carson had dismantled the 2015 rule in May when he withdrew a computer assessment tool that allowed the agency to oversee whether communities complied with the law.
“Many aspects of the [Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing] Rule remain active,” Howell wrote in her 77-page opinion. “HUD’s withdrawal of the tool does not ‘perceptibly impair’ the plaintiffs’ abilities to carry out their missions.”