On May 6, 2024, Relman Colfax filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of five plaintiff organizations against Florida officials responsible for implementing and enforcing SB 264, a recent law that discriminates on the basis of national origin because it restricts the ability of people from China and six other targeted countries to purchase homes in the state. SB 264 was transparently motivated by discriminatory intent. During Governor DeSantis’s initial press conference about the bill, for example, he invoked insidious stereotypes, accusing Chinese people of “worming” their way into American society.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the complaint alleges intentional discrimination and unlawful disparate impact on the basis of national origin, in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and the Florida Constitution. The plaintiffs—the National Fair Housing Alliance, Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc., the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, the Asian Real Estate Association of America, and King Realty Advisors LLC—claim that the law’s disproportionate negative effect on people from seven targeted countries cannot be justified by any legitimate, nondiscriminatory state interest. The people targeted by this discriminatory law include many people legally living full time in the United States on nonimmigrant visas who have no ties to foreign governments other than the fact that they were born in a particular country.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

The Relman Colfax litigation team consists of Reed Colfax, Yiyang Wu, and Zoila Hinson, with paralegal assistance from Esmeralda Hermosillo. Our co-counsel are Scott Chang of the National Fair Housing Alliance, Niyati Shah, Noah Baron, and Shalaka Phadnis of the Asian American Justice Center, and J. Courtney Cunningham of J. Courtney Cunningham, PLLC.

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