The U.S. Supreme Court today heard oral argument relating to the City of Miami, Florida’s lawsuits against Bank of America and Wells Fargo for deprivations it says were the results of the banks’ discriminatory and predatory loans targeted at minorities. The city’s case describes unfavorable minority-targeted bank loans that led to widespread foreclosures and a consequent erosion of the tax base affecting numerous city services including police, fire, and emergency systems.

As reported by the New York Times, the Associated Press, The State, Bloomberg News, Forbes, and others, the judges in the nation’s highest court “weighed whether cities can sue banks under the Fair Housing Act for predatory lending, even if foreclosures that stem from such loans affect a city only indirectly.” Forbes framed the question as, “Should Bank of America and Wells Fargo be on the hook for potentially billions of dollars in tax revenue Miami and other cities lost after property values plunged in minority neighborhoods due to shoddy lending practices and foreclosures?”

The State described the Court as receptive to the city’s position that the law protects not only individual victims of discrimination, but also the municipality that must deal with urban blight to which discrimination contributes, while the AP noted that the justices seemed inclined “to allow Miami to sue banks for predatory lending practices among minority customers that led to foreclosures, declines in property taxes and dips in property values.” Bloomberg quoted Justice Elena Kagan, who said “Everything about this complaint is about racial segregation.”

Read the original stories on the New York Times, Associated Press, The State, Forbes, and Bloomberg News websites.