In an argument made via Zoom to a nine-judge en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, CCL's Robert S. Peck argued that the Fair Housing Act has distinctive proximate cause requirements that are discernible from its legislative history and are met by the City of Oakland's complaint filed nearly four years ago against discriminatory lending practices it alleged Wells Fargo perpetrated on its residents.

     In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case argued by Peck held that municipalities have standing to bring actions for lost or diminished property taxes resulting from discriminatory housing practices. However, it explicitly left the proximate cause standard applicable unanswered, leaving it to the lower courts to sort out that question. This case is one of the cases that seeks to answer the question. 

   In his argument, Peck told the Court that standing and proximate cause were not the same but could not be so incongruent that standing exists but a city could never plausibly plead proximate cause. The case is now under advisement.