How do you stop discrimination in Joe Biden’s America?

The answer, apparently, is with more discrimination, just aimed in a different direction. Just recently, Florida Federal Judge Marcia Morales Howard issued an injunction against a Biden plan to offer loan forgiveness to minority farmers, and minority farmers only, calling it an attempt to remedy discrimination by discriminating.

Howard, a George W. Bush appointee, noted that the promise of equal justice under the law, as posed by the Constitution, calls for the government to treat people as individuals as opposed to merely members of a racial group. The Constitution calls for Americans to be treated as Americans, and for the law to apply evenly therein. The planned measure to offer loan forgiveness only to certain people, therefore, was in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

The original complaint was posed by Scott Wynn, a Jennings, Florida farmer who produces a wide range of agricultural product ranging from corn to cattle. Wynn has been operating since 2006, and the Covid-19 pandemic hit him—like it hit most farmers—hard. The combination of transportation issues and market pressures commonly caused by the extended lockdowns large portions of the country endured hit Wynn’s finances especially hard, though much of the farm’s income went to paying back federal farm loans taken out in advance of the pandemic.

The first nationwide preliminary injunction

The American Rescue Plan of 2021, meanwhile, offered some hope for Wynn and those like him, getting access to farm loan forgiveness. Wynn soon discovered, however, that he was ineligible for the help…because he was of the wrong race. The provisions in the American Rescue Plan of 2021 allowed loan forgiveness up to 120% of the loan, but was available only to minority farmers, who were automatically considered “socially disadvantaged” regardless of any other circumstances.

Wynn’s lawsuit was far from the only one, as a Wisconsin farmer filed a separate suit for much the same reason, and a restraining order was granted therein. Wynn’s case, however, represents the first nationwide preliminary injunction. Even with the injunction in place, Judge Howard  noted that the Agriculture Department could continue with preparations to deliver debt relief until the program was found “constitutionally permissible.”

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