In this file:
· America First Legal Sues Biden Admin To End Racial Discrimination Against Farmers And Ranchers
· Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller sues, claims American Rescue Plan discriminates against white farmers
· Farmers, attorney discuss lawsuit over Biden administration's American Rescue Plan loans
· 5 White farmers sue government over racial exclusivity of debt relief
America First Legal Sues Biden Admin To End Racial Discrimination Against Farmers And Ranchers
Source: America First Legal (AFL)
May 3, 2021
AFL is a national, nonprofit organization that works to promote the rule of law in the United States
WASHINGTON, DC – 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.
AFL President Stephen Miller issued the following statement:
America First Legal opposes discrimination in all forms. We hold fast to the immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr. that Americans “should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” These soul-stirring words are now inscribed onto the heart of every American. And they flow directly from the Declaration of Independence’s recognition that all men are created equal. And they are embodied by AFL’s founding charter. MLK’s vision is fundamental to our democracy, in which all citizens are equal both in front of the law and in the eyes of their Creator. For this reason, AFL is filing a lawsuit today against the Biden Administration to prevent it from administering programs created under the American Rescue Plan Act that discriminate against American farmers and ranchers based upon the basis of race. As Chief Justice John Roberts plainly avowed, “[T]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” With today’s lawsuit against the Biden Administration, AFL makes clear that it will defend MLK’s vision, our Constitutional order, and the civil rights of all citizens.
The Constitution forbids government action that discriminates based upon race. Yet the Biden Administration’s Department of Agriculture—aided by the new Congress—is actively engaging in outright racial discrimination. While Congress is permitted to provide loan forgiveness and certain additional benefits to farmers and ranchers, Americans of all races and ethnicities must have the opportunity to receive them.
AFL’s lawsuit seeks to ensure equal rights under the law for all American citizens and advance the essential work of ending racial discrimination. The plaintiff is Sid Miller acting in his personal capacity. He currently serves as Texas Agricultural Commissioner.
document, including link to filing
Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller sues, claims American Rescue Plan discriminates against white farmers
The plan includes a program to assist "socially disadvantaged" farmers impacted by the pandemic.
Drew Knight, KVUE (TX)
April 27, 2021
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture because he claims the American Rescue Plan discriminates against white ranchers or farmers.
The 2021 plan includes a program that aims to give aid to "socially disadvantaged" farmers or ranchers who have been hurt by the pandemic. These farmers are defined by the USDA as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan natives, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
"As a nation, we are devoted to the task of satisfying these sacred ideals and providing equal rights to citizens of all races, as the Constitution requires. Profound progress has been made, and extraordinary milestones reached, throughout our history, serving as an inspiration to humanity and the nations of the world," the lawsuit states. "Yet, today, the Department of Agriculture lurches America dangerously backward, reversing the clock on American progress, and violating our most sacred and revered principles by actively and invidiously discriminating against American citizens solely based upon their race. This is illegal, it is unconstitutional, it is wrong, and it must stop."
"These racial exclusions are patently unconstitutional, and the Court should permanently enjoin their enforcement," the lawsuit states...
Farmers, attorney discuss lawsuit over Biden administration's American Rescue Plan loans
Richard Reeve, KSTP (MN)
April 29, 2021
A group of Midwestern farmers — including a Minnesota man — is suing the Biden administration.
The five growers claim they're being excluded from a COVID-19 loan forgiveness program because they're white.
"It's very frustrating because I ... it's just not right," said Jon Stevens, from Maple Grove Farms in Rock Creek. "The way I understand it ... when you filled out your FSA paperwork, you check anything other than white, you're good to go."
The lawsuit, filed in Green Bay, Wisconsin, says the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan provides $4 billion to forgive loans for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who are Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Alaskan Native, Asian American or Pacific Islander.
The plaintiffs' attorney says that's unconstitutional...
more, including video report [2:49 min.]
5 White farmers sue government over racial exclusivity of debt relief
April 30, 2021
Farmers from the Midwest have joined together to file a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging racial bias was taking place since they can’t participate in the recent COVID-19 loan forgiveness program because they’re White.
The plaintiffs — farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio — brought the case against the federal government due to the announcement that minority farmers will be eligible for $4 billion in debt relief (as well as $1 billion in other education and grants), thanks to the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, which was included in the COVID-19 relief bill earlier this year.
The Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act directs the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to “pay to each lender of farm loans guaranteed by the Secretary an amount equal to the principal and interest outstanding as of the date of enactment of this Act on all farm loans held by the lender, the borrowers of which are socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, such that the borrowers shall be relieved of the obligation to repay the principal and interest due on those guaranteed farm loans.”
However, the Midwest plaintiffs believe they are also being discriminated against. The lawsuit states, “Were plaintiffs eligible for the loan forgiveness benefit, they would have the opportunity to make additional investments in their property, expand their farms, purchase equipment and supplies, and otherwise support their families and local communities. Because plaintiffs are ineligible to even apply for the program solely due to their race, they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm.”
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed the lawsuit on behalf of the five farmers from four states. Adam Faust, one of the plaintiffs from Calumet County, Wisconsin, said, “There should absolutely be no federal dollars going anywhere just based on race. The economic impact from COVID-19 didn’t hurt any race more than another as far as agriculture goes.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement saying it was reviewing the lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice but that there are no plans to halt the payments that benefit minority farmers, according to the Associated Press. Vilsack...
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