Claremont Institute

Houses and Church Signs:

How Will the Court Address Allegations of Housing Discrimination & Violations of Free Speech?

With Guest Speakers Roger Clegg and Gene C. Schaerr


Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project
begins at: 1:58 Reed v. Town of Gilbert begins at: 15:52

Dr. John C. Eastman and his guests begin this month’s wrap-up of cases before the Supreme Court with a discussion of Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Projectin which the Court considers whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act, and if so, what standards and burdens of proof should apply. A disparate-impact claim is an allegation that a state action has a discriminatory effect, even if it wasn't written for a discriminatory purpose.

Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity, joins Dr. Eastman to sort out the questions in this case. Most recently, Mr. Clegg served as Vice President for the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, and before that held various positions at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Next, in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the Court considers the right of a church to place temporary signs promoting services and giving directions to services in public locations. The Town of Gilbert, Arizona bases sign permits on their content, whether it be political, ideological, or other type of message. Dr. Eastman and Gene C. Schaerrdiscuss what is protected by “freedom of speech” and the limits of government regulation of that speech.

Mr. Schaerr authored the amicus brief for the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists in this case and will offer his analysis of the case and the Court's deliberations in oral arguments. Mr. Schaerr most recently served as Utah's Special Assistant Attorney General and was previously a partner and Chair of Appellate & Critical Motions Practice at Winston & Strawn.