Yet another Biden administration attempt to divide the nation on the basis of race has hit a significant judicial roadblock, as a Wisconsin federal judge on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order halting a $4 billion federal relief program designed to prioritize assistance for Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American farmers, as Fox News reports.
The program at issue was part of Biden’s sweeping COVID-19 relief package and offered payment of up to 120% of loans for ranchers or farmers in designated racial groups, purportedly to address historical inequities in the distribution of federal subsidies. In response, 12 white individuals from nine different states filed suit and claimed they were unlawfully excluded from receiving aid on the basis of their race, as the New York Post noted.
Finding that the white farmers “are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim,” Judge William Griesbach of the U.S. District Court fo the Eastern District of Wisconsin put a temporary stop to the program while the case makes its way through the court process.
In support of his ruling, Griesbach noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), pursuant to this program, was doling out debt relief payments “without actually considering the financial circumstances of the applicant” and that the “only consideration in determining whether a farmer or rancher’s loans should be completely forgiven is the person’s race or national origin.”
Adding that the white plaintiffs in the case “are completely excluded from participation in the program based on their race,” Griesbach added, “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.”
Not surprisingly, the Agriculture Department swiftly registered its disappointment at the news of Griesbach’s decision, saying, “We respectfully disagree with this temporary order and USDA will continue to forcefully defend our ability to carry out this act of Congress and deliver debt relief to socially disadvantaged borrowers.”
In attempting to justify the race-based aid criteria utilized by the program back in May, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “I think you have to take you back 20, 30 years when we know for a fact that socially disadvantaged producers were discriminated against by the United States Department of Agriculture. We know this. We have reimbursed people in the past…but we’ve never absolutely dealth with the cumulative effect.”
Vilsack further claimed that since “white farmers did pretty well” under prior COVID-19 relief distributions because such aid was “structured on size and structured on production,” he believes that “there is a very legitimate reason for doing what we are doing.”
As farmer Benji Anderson of Georgia adeptly explained to Fox News, “It doesn’t matter about color or race or whatever, we’re all farmers, all working together to feed the United States,” and it is incumbent upon every American to resist this and other Biden administration attempts to violate the equal protection under the law that our Constitution guarantees.