New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has joined with Massachusetts and ten other states in filing a joint brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the existing interpretation of the Fair Housing Act against a challenge to the important civil rights law.

The brief urges the Supreme Court to recognize that “disparate impact" claims can be made under the Fair Housing Act. Disparate claims occur when a housing practice has a disproportionately harmful effect on minority communities, creating a potential roadblock to ending discrimination and residential segregation.

Schneiderman says “the Fair Housing Act is one of the nation's most important tools for combating discrimination and eliminating residential segregation. His coalition urges the Supreme Court to reject the challenge.