Officials in a southern New Jersey town were expected to vote Wednesday evening on a proposed settlement to close a decade-long housing discrimination case just before it heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Matt Cardy, Getty Images

The deal would end a decade of litigation between Mount Holly Township and some residents of the Mount Holly Gardens neighborhood.

The town, about 20 miles east of Philadelphia, has a redevelopment plan to raze the area to make way for new homes and stores.

Residents sued, saying their payments for selling would not be enough to buy new homes in the area. They also argued the plan amounted to discriminations because most of the residents are minorities.

The Obama administration supports the theory used in the case -- that discrimination can be found based on results of a project or practice, not just whether discrimination is intentional.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case Dec. 4, though a settlement could make that moot. If the court does hear the case, it would be one of the most highly anticipated items on its docket this term.

Full details of the proposed settlement have not been announced, but some residents have said they expect to receive homes in the new development as part of the deal.


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