The Biden administration is using a legal tactic to continue denying COVID-19 relief to farmers based on the color of their skin, even after multiple courts ruled the practice was unconstitutional.
Braden Boucek, director of litigation at the Southeastern Legal Foundation, which is representing one of the white farmers who filed a lawsuit, wrote at The Federalist that the administration is still discriminating against white farmers, and the injunctions issued in Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are now moot.
“After taking an uninterrupted string of losses in defending the program’s racial preferences, the government has changed tactics. It has argued that it is wasteful and unfair to force it, the United States of America represented by the Department of Justice (the world’s largest law office), to have to defend its unconstitutional program in multiple places at one time. Just remember this the next time you need an extension on your taxes,” Boucek wrote. “Largely, this change in tactics has worked. In case after case, courts have stayed their cases. Those nationwide injunctions you may have read about? They are pretty much now moot or dissolved outright. The government staved off a much-needed reckoning.”
The program in question, which was supposed to provide COVID relief to those affected by the pandemic, was made available only to nonwhite applicants, who would have their loans fully forgiven and receive an additional 20% of the loan as a bonus.
There is one case, however, where a judge rejected the government’s request to stay – in Tennessee. As Boucek explained, farmer Rob Holman filed a lawsuit after learning he was ineligible for funds because he is white, even though his farm was hit hard by the pandemic. Boucek noted that the “government doesn’t get to complain about being overwhelmed by pro bono law firms, then put Holman’s case on the shelf for years while it chooses where and how it would like to litigate.”
Holman is unable to participate in the loan forgiveness program that some of his competitors will have access to, which will unfairly impact his ability to continue doing business, Boucek argued.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, judges in Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin ruled against the Biden administration’s racial preferences, deeming the practice unconstitutional.
In Florida, U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard wrote in her decision that the government was imposing discriminatory policies.
“Congress also must heed its obligation to do away with governmentally imposed discrimination based on race,” Howard wrote, adding that “it appears that in adopting Section 1005’s strict race-based debt relief remedy Congress moved with great speed to address the history of discrimination, but did not move with great care.”
According to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by civil rights attorney Hans Bader, it appears the Biden administration knew the program’s racial preferences were unconstitutional. Bader reported:
In a June 2 email, Lawrence Lucas of Justice for Black Farmers Group closes by noting, ‘Please remember it was the Biden/Harris transition team that you headed up that told us that debt relief for Black farmers was ‘unconstitutional.’” That’s a reference to when Vilsack was managing the Agriculture Department’s transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.
The email can be found at this link. It was released on August 18, in response to a lawsuit against the Agriculture Department by the Bader Family Foundation. It sued the Agriculture Department for failing to respond to a FOIA request from it and Liberty Unyielding.