A Wisconsin federal court has temporarily stopped payments in a federal farmer loan forgiveness program that allocates benefits on the basis of racial categories.
Twelve farmers and ranchers across nine states filed the lawsuit against the Biden Administration, saying they are not eligible for relief because they are white.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to give preferential treatment to businesses owned by women, veterans, and people who are “socially and economically disadvantaged.”
The federal law uses a controversial “critical race theory” definition of “socially and economically disadvantaged” that can only include minority groups.
The court entered the emergency injunction temporarily halting payments in the $4 billion program, stating that the white farmers are “likely to to succeed on the merits of their claim”.
A Texas court recently temporarily halted a program for restauranteurs under the same federal program for the same reasons.
Several other courts have ruled similarly and enjoined the Biden Administration from administering the Covid relief program on a discriminatory basis.