The Biden administration’s plan to distribute post-pandemic farm loan relief to non-white farmers was hit with another legal defeat on Thursday.
District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson of Tennessee issued a preliminary order to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s progress with the loan payment plan, which excluded white farmers and ranchers.
The decision states that “The Court finds that Plaintiff has shown a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on his claim that Section 1005 violates his right to equal protection under the law” “Absent action by the Court, socially disadvantaged farmers will obtain debt relief, while Plaintiff will suffer the irreparable harm of being excluded from that program solely on the basis of his race.”
The Mountain States Legal Foundation and Southeastern Legal Foundation challenged the constitutionality of the program on equal protection grounds for Rob Holman, a Tennessee farmer, and Leisl Carpenter, a Wyoming rancher.
In a recent op-ed explaining why she sued, Carpenter said as a sixth-generation rancher, “Biden’s law is seemingly designed to racially humiliate Americans like me.
She continued, “To be eligible under the bill, an applicant’s farm or business must not have been subject to racial discrimination.” “It is not necessary that an applicant has suffered direct economic losses as a result of the lockdowns. The most important factor is skin color.
The Biden administration might finally get a clue after this latest defeat.
“What’s it going to take for the Biden-Harris Administration to comply with the Constitution?” said MSLF General Counsel William E. Trachman in a statement. “Now that their discriminatory farming and ranch debt relief has been enjoined by another court as a violation of the equal protection clause, the writing is on the wall.? It’s time to treat all of us like Americans, regardless of our skin color.? The pandemic didn’t discriminate when it hurt farmers and ranchers last year, and the government shouldn’t discriminate now.?Racial segregation was wrong before, it’s wrong now, and will be wrong forever.”