Supreme Court hears arguments about Miami suing banks over lending

Supreme Court justices signaled they may divide over the ability of cities to use the Fair Housing Act to sue banks for discriminatory lending practices.

The high court grappled Tuesday, November 8, 2016 with a case that grew out of the subprime mortgage crisis.

A federal appeals court read the Fair Housing Act as giving Miami the right to sue Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Miami says the banks targeted minorities for riskier loans, leading to foreclosures that cost the city property-tax revenue and forced it to spend more on police and fire services.

Some of the liberal justices indicated that they would vote to let the cases go forward.

“Everything about this complaint is about racial segregation, it seems to me,” Justice Elena Kagan said.

But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy suggested that they saw a need to limit the types of suits that could be filed under the landmark 1968 housing law.

-From Bloomberg News