Jenner & Block

Amicus Brief Urges Eighth Circuit to Invalidate Housing Ordinance Directed at Immigrants

A team of Jenner & Block attorneys, together with LatinoJustice PRLDEF, submitted an amicus brief on behalf of several national Latino organizations, including the Hispanic National Bar Association, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the National Council of La Raza, in Keller v. City of Fremont, a case pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  The case concerns a housing ordinance in Fremont, Nebraska that seeks to prohibit the rental of housing by private landlords to, or the “harboring” of, undocumented immigrants.  In June 2013, a three-judge panel, by a vote of 2-1, upheld the ordinance, reversing the district court and taking a position contrary to other federal appeals courts that have reviewed and rejected similar ordinances recently. 

The firm’s brief, filed in support of the plaintiff-appellants’ petition to the Eighth Circuit for en banc review, argues that anti-Latino motives were behind the passage of the ordinance.  It also describes the harm to the Latino population if the ordinance is implemented.  The team that drafted the brief includes Partners Matthew S. Hellman and Carletta F. Higginson and Associates Eddie A. Jauregui and Emily B. Buckley.