Republican Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller sued the Biden administration on Monday for alleged discrimination against white farmers.
Miller, backed by America First Legal Foundation, claims Biden’s Agricultural Department’s racial exclusion of whites in their COVID-19 relief package for farmers and ranchers violates the U.S. Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Courthouse News Service reported Monday.
“The lawsuit says the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed by Congress last month includes provisions for the forgiveness of loans to ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers or ranchers of up to 120% of the value of the loan,” the report outlined. “It claims other federal laws limit help for white farmers and ranchers, including the Agriculture Department being required to give preference to grant applications filed by ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers or ranchers.”
“These racial exclusions are patently unconstitutional, and the court should permanently enjoin their enforcement,” the complaint reads. “Doing so will promote equal rights under the law for all American citizens and promote efforts to stop racial discrimination, because ‘[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.’”
The complaint argues that white ethnic groups have also been subject to discrimination in American history, and therefore “unambiguously qualify as members of a ‘socially disadvantaged group,’ and as ‘socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.’”
“Indeed, throughout American history, many white ethnic groups have been subject to ‘racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities,’ including Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews and eastern Europeans,” says the complaint. “Members of these ethnic groups unambiguously qualify as members of a ‘socially disadvantaged group,’ and as ‘socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers,’ under the plain text … ’”
“An interpretation of the underlying statutes that excludes plaintiffs like Miller because he is not ‘black enough’ would raise grave constitutional concerns under Bolling v. Sharpe and it should be rejected for that reason alone,” the complaint argues. “For the same reason, the statutes should not be construed to empower the Department of Agriculture to choose a minimum threshold of minority ancestry when determining eligibility for benefits.”
American First Legal Foundation, the group representing Miller, is headed by former White House adviser and immigration hawk Stephen Miller.
Miller launched the group earlier this month with the express goal of proliferating America First policy and stopping unconstitutional actions from the Biden administration through the courts.
“Those who believe in America First must not shy away from using our legal system to defend our society and our families from any unlawful actions by the left,” Miller said in a statement, according to CBS News. “Those looking to hold the new administration in Washington to account finally have their answer. Our self-imposed policy of legal disarmament is now over.”
American First Legal Foundation has also already filed suit against the Biden administration on behalf of Texas Republicans for “refusing to expel unaccompanied, migrant Central American children under the Trump administration’s Title 42, resulting in overcrowding at federal holding facilities at the border with Mexico,” Courthouse News Service noted.
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