Originally Posted by Piobaire
One could argue, for instance, torts would be how to handle this and a good expose in our free press would probably shame some folks into submission.
One could, I suppose. Most individuals who are impacted by acts like racial steering may not have an understanding about what is happening to them. Another example of something similar is predatory lending. Generally, these types of cases require a pattern to show wrongdoing. An individual may not know what happened to him specifically, but it becomes more apparent when there is a larger investigation of many people. The resources to investigate on a case by case basis are simply not available to most individuals or even to many groups that may advocate on behalf of individuals. There certainly are some non-governmental groups that investigate, but many usually receive federal grants. That puts the government in a unique position to be able to investigate these types of cases.
Even if a tort was available, there are not strong incentives for individuals to pursue a case. What benefit is an individual getting from bringing a tort? You would be relying on an individual to have some amount of altruism to benefit society at large, but at a personal expense to himself. It's a nice, but largely unrealistic, thought.
The press does report on this stuff. I used to follow it, so I'm probably more aware of it, though. There has been a recent case that involves both predatory lending and racial steering in Buffalo. The press there has been reporting on it, and it's popped-up in some larger national press. The press reported a lot of the Donald Sterling Fair Housing Act case a number of years ago. His case involved some elements of racial steering.