“Plaintiff is a White farmer in Jennings, Florida who has qualifying farm loans but is ineligible for debt relief under Section 1005 solely because of his race.” Judge agrees: “Race or ethnicity is the sole, inflexible factor that determines the availability of relief provided by the Government….”
One of the policy priorities of the Biden administration has been to institute policies and practices that favor non-whites over whites in the name of achieving racial equity. The problem with such racially discriminatory actions is that they are … wait for it … plainly illegal.
In multiple cases we have covered, federal judges have halted such federal racial discrimination:
- Appeals Court Enjoins Biden’s Coronvirus Relief Favoring Non-Whites and Women
- White Farmers Win Temporary Injunction Halting Biden Loan Forgiveness Program That Favored Non-Whites
There may be other such cases, we haven’t comprehensively cataloged them.
Now there is another. Reuters reports, U.S. judge blocks $4 billion debt relief program for minority farmers:
A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a part of the Biden administration’s federal stimulus relief package that forgave agricultural debts to farmers of color.
A white farmer named Scott Wynn of Jennings, Florida, in May had challenged U.S. President Joe Biden’s plans as he faced farm loans and financial hardship during the pandemic. He said the debt relief program discriminated against him by race.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard blocked the government’s $4 billion aid package to farmers of color on Wednesday, ruling that the plaintiff had established a “strong likelihood” of the policy violating his right to equal protection under the law.
Wynn, who is challenging Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides debt relief to “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,” is likely to succeed, Howard said in the ruling filed in the Middle District Court of Florida.
The Order (pdf.) provides, in part:
In this action, Plaintiff challenges Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), 2 which provides debt relief 3 to “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” (SDFRs). (Doc 1; Complaint). Specifically, Section 1005(a)(2) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to pay up to 120% of the indebtedness, as of January 1, 2021, of an SDFR’s direct Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans and any farm loan guaranteed by the Secretary (collectively, farm loans). Section 1005 incorporates 7 U.S.C. § 2279’s definition of an SDFR as “a farmer of rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group.” 7 U.S.C. § 2279(a)(5). A “socially disadvantaged group” is defined as “a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.” 7 U.S.C. § 2279(a)(6). Racial or ethnic groups that categorically qualify as socially disadvantaged are “Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander.” Complaint at ¶ 3; see also U.S. Dep’t of Agric., American Rescue Plan Debt Payments, https://www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan (last visited June 22, 2021). White or Caucasian farmers and ranchers do not.
Plaintiff is a White farmer in Jennings, Florida who has qualifying farm loans but is ineligible for debt relief under Section 1005 solely because of his race….
The Court found a likelihood of success on the merits:
On the record presented here, the Court expresses serious concerns over whether the Government will be able to establish a strong basis in evidence warranting the implementation of Section 1005’s race-based remedial action….
Nevertheless, at this stage of the proceedings, the Court need not determine whether the Government ultimately will be able to establish a compelling need for this broad, race-based remedial legislation.9 This is because, assuming the Government’s evidence establishes the existence of a compelling governmental interest warranting some form of race-based relief, for the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff has convincingly shown that the relief provided by Section 1005 is not narrowly tailored to serve that interest….
Race or ethnicity is the sole, inflexible factor that determines the availability ofrelief provided by the Government under Section 1005….
Having considered all of the pertinent factors associated with the narrow tailoring analysis and the record presented by the parties, the Court is not persuaded that the Government will be able to establish that Section 1005 is narrowly tailored to serve its compelling governmental interest. The constitutional right to equal protection guarantees that racial classifications will be permitted only with “the most exact connection between the justification and classification.” Wygant, 476 U.S. at 280. The evidence regarding Section 1005’s enactment presents some connection between the justification and the race-based relief but falls short of presenting an “exact connection.”
The court halted the program in its tracks:
Only a preliminary injunction halting the distribution of payments and debt relief under Section 1005 can give Plaintiff an opportunity to obtain any redress. Such an injunction certainly impacts the SDFRs counting on the debt relief. But the Court has carefully balanced the equities and is convinced that they favor the halting of a program that is significantly likely to violate the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.
Vilsack and others in the federal government were
immediately enjoined from issuing any payments, loan assistance, or debt relief pursuant to Section 1005(a)(2) of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 until further order from the Court.
The Biden administration is engaged in systemic racial discrimination against whites. Federal judges, so far, are halting the conduct again and again.DONATE
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