Texas lawsuit targets Biden aid to ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers as RACIST

A prominent Texas Republican is seeking class-action status for a lawsuit against the Biden administration, arguing that its offer of relief to farmers based on race in its Covid-19 plan is unconstitutional discrimination.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Fort Worth this week, in his capacity as a rancher and private citizen. According to the Texas Tribune, the lawsuit is sponsored by America First Legal, a conservative group founded by Stephen Miller (no relation), former senior adviser to President Donald Trump.

At issue is the definition of “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers in the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus stimulus and relief bill Congress passed last month without any Republican votes. According to the US Department of Agriculture, some $4 billion of the plan’s funding is intended for debt relief for “farmers of color,” while another $1.01 billion will fund a “racial equity” commission at USDA

Miller, however, argues that USDA should not be able to “choose a minimum threshold of minority ancestry when determining eligibility for benefits,” arguing it “lurches America dangerously backward.”

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The program currently excludes “white ethnic groups that have unquestionably suffered” on ethnic grounds – such as the Irish, Italians, Jews and Eastern Europeans, for example. Miller’s complaint seeks to declare the program unconstitutional under a 1954 Supreme Court precedent that cleared the way for desegregating public schools in the US capital.

“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 lawsuit says.

This outcome would promote equal rights under the law for all Americans, “because the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” Miller’s complaint adds.

On the day he was sworn in, President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing “advancing racial equity” as the guiding policy of his administration. Though often confused with the similar-sounding “equality,” equity in practice translates into disparate treatment of different groups to ensure equal outcomes.

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