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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Arlington Heights
Metropolitan Housing Corp.
(Argued the cause for respondents)
(Argued the cause for petitioners)
Facts of the Case 

The Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. (MHDC) contracted with the Village of Arlington Heights ("Arlington") to build racially integrated low- and moderate-income housing. When MHDC applied for the necessary zoning permits, authorizing a switch from a single- to a multiple-family classification, Arlington's planning commission denied the request. Acting on behalf of itself and several minority members, MHDC challenged Arlington's denial as racially discriminatory. On appeal from an adverse district court decision, the Court of Appeals reversed and the Supreme Court granted Arlington certiorari.


Was Arlington Height's denial of a zoning request, necessary for the creation of low- and moderate-income housing, racially discriminatory in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause?

Decision: 5 votes for Arlington Heights, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

Perhaps. After finding that MHDC had proper federal standing, since it acted on behalf of black plaintiffs who stood to suffer direct and measurable injuries from Arlington's denial, the Court held that it failed to establish Arlington's racially discriminatory intent or purpose. While indicating that Arlington's zoning denial may result in a racially disproportionate impact, the evidence did not show that this was Arlington's deliberate intention. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded for further consideration.

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS v. METROPOLITAN HOUSING CORP.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS v. METROPOLITAN HOUSING CORP., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"ARLINGTON HEIGHTS v. METROPOLITAN HOUSING CORP.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,