Federal Judge William Griesbach issued a temporary restraining order against President Biden’s unconstitutional and race-based loan forgiveness plan that excludes white farmers. The court ruled that the government’s discrimination based on skin color would cause farmers “irreparable harm.”
Under Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, $4 billion is allotted through the USDA towards loan forgiveness for “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.”
Disadvantaged farmers and ranchers are classified as being members of a group who are “subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities,” including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, refugees, immigrants, and other minorities.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit for a group of farmers from nine different states, arguing the program was a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause and equal protection under the law. They challenged “the USDA’s use of race classifications for allocating funds under the loan-forgiveness program as violative of the equal protection guarantee in the United States.”
The USDA said it is carrying out its duty to remedy its own past and present discrimination towards minority farmers. According to the agency, the loan forgiveness program would “increase opportunity, advance equity and address systemic discrimination in USDA programs.”
Judge Griesbach found the plan relied on anecdotal evidence, rather than compelling proof, of such discrimination taking place. And if the USDA has engaged in discrimination in the past, Griesbach wrote, the loan forgiveness plan only continues to do so.
“The obvious response to a government agency that claims it continues to discriminate against farmers because of their race or national origin is to direct it to stop: it is not to direct it to intentionally discriminate against others on the basis of their race and national origin,’ Griesbach wrote.
Griesbach cited a previous court ruling that stated “government policies that classify people by race are presumptively invalid.”
One of the farmers ineligible for the program and represented by WILL’s lawsuit is Adam Faust, a dairy farmer who had both legs amputated. “There should absolutely be no federal dollars going anywhere just based on race,” he said.
Another dairy farmer, Christopher Baird, said he isn’t against loan forgiveness but he is against Biden’s and USDA’s race-based approach. “We shouldn’t be looking at the color of someone’s skin and saying this person needs more help or less help based on the color of their skin. That’s just wrong.”