White Farmers Excluded From Biden Loan Forgiveness Program Sue To Stop “use of race discrimination as a tool to end ‘systemic racism’”
“Plaintiffs are farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio who have direct loans with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) or loans backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are otherwise eligible for the loan-forgiveness program in ARPA, except for the color of their skin. As white farmers, Plaintiffs are ineligible for this government benefit.”
You can feel the Legal Resistance to the Biden administration growing. Finally.
As I have pointed out many times before, Democrats have a much larger and more active legal activist infrastructure. We saw it throughout the Trump presidency, with multiple lawsuits filed with days of almost every major Trump policy move. In the travel cases, which Trump ultimately won in the Supreme Court, lawsuits were filed in multiple federal district courts seeking nationwide injunctions. It took only one district court win for a policy to be stymied, even if ultimately Trump won.
While Democrats had their Legal Resistance ready to go the day Trump took office, Republicans were caught flat-footed when Biden rolled out dozens of executive orders and memoranda implementing a radical agenda. It took some time, but Republican state attorneys general stepped into the breach and have sued over the gutting of the immigration laws and enforcement, and disastrous energy and job-killing moves like canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s a start, but it has to get more agressive.
Among the most pernicious of the Biden policies is the attempt to hand out federal dollars based on race. There already is a lawsuit alleging Racial Discrimination Against Farmers And Ranchers:
Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas to stop the Biden Administration from administering a program created by Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that discriminates against American citizen farmers and ranchers based upon their race. Specifically, Sections 1005 and 1006 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provide benefits to farmers and ranchers, but excludes many potential beneficiaries based solely upon their ethnicity or race.
Now, several white farmers have sued over loan forgiveness only for black and other minorities. The Daily Signal reports;
Christopher Baird owns a dairy farm near Ferryville in southwest Wisconsin, not far from the Mississippi River. He milks about 50 cows and farms approximately 80 acres of pasture.
Like a lot of farmers, Baird has direct loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
But the dairy farmer isn’t entitled to a new FSA loan-forgiveness program provided as part of COVID-19 relief in the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, legislation touted Wednesday night by President Joe Biden in his address to Congress.
Baird is white. He joined four other white farmers Thursday in suing federal officials over being left out.
You can read the complaint, Faust v. Vilsack – Wisconsin Farmer Discrimination Lawsuit – Complaint:
1. “The Constitution abhors classifications based on race . . . because every time the government places citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all.” Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306, 353 (2003) (Thomas, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). “Purchased at the price of immeasurable human suffering, the equal protection principle reflects our Nation’s understanding that such classifications ultimately have a destructive impact on the individual and our society.” Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200, 240 (1995) (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment).
2. In March 2021, the United States retreated from the principle of equality under the law by enacting a race-based loan-forgiveness program in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Among other things, ARPA provides billions of dollars of debt relief to “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers. The phrase “socially disadvantaged” includes explicit racial classifications: to be eligible for ARPA’s debt relief, farmers and ranchers must be Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian American or Pacific Islander. Other farmers—white farmers, for example—are ineligible.
3. Plaintiffs are farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio who have direct loans with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) or loans backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are otherwise eligible for the loan-forgiveness program in ARPA, except for the color of their skin. As white farmers, Plaintiffs are ineligible for this government benefit.
4. Defendants are responsible for running this race-based loan-forgiveness program through USDA and FSA. Defendants assert that the purpose of this program is to remedy “systemic racism” in USDA and “across agriculture.” In other words, Defendants are attempting to cure societal discrimination—they specifically disavow that they are attempting to remedy “specific acts of discrimination.”
5. The United States Constitution “forbids” discrimination by the federal government “against any citizen because of his race.” Adarand Constructors, Inc., 515 U.S. at 216 (citations omitted). Any classifications based on race, therefore, must “be subjected to the most rigid scrutiny.” Id (citation omitted). So, when the government distributes “benefits on the basis of individual racial classifications,” as Defendants do in this case, the government bears the burden of meeting “strict scrutiny.” In other words, the government must prove that its discriminatory benefit is narrowly tailored and serves a compelling government interest. Id. at 227.
6. While Defendants’ public statements about ARPA describe their generalized goal of ending “systemic racism,” such broad goals do not override the constitutional ban on race discrimination. In fact, the Supreme Court has “rejected the interest in remedying societal discrimination because it had no logical stopping point.” Fisher v. Univ. of Texas at Austin, 570 U.S. 297, 318 (2013). In short, “[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Parents Involved in Cmty. Sch. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 551 U.S. 701, 748 (2007).
7. Defendants’ use of race discrimination as a tool to end “systemic racism,” is therefore unconstitutional and should be enjoined by this Court.
This lawsuit, and others sure to follow, could have huge implications for education as well. Present discrimination to remedy past discrimination is a foundational principle of Ibram X. Kendi’s “antiracism” philosophy that is a driving force from higher ed to K-12 activism. Court recognition that the Kendian “antiracism” approach when applied to farmers constitutes illegal racial discrimination could easily be applied to the race shaming and belittling of people based on race that has permeated so many educational institutions.DONATE
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