Federal judge enters nationwide injunction halting farm loan forgiveness program that excludes farmers because of their skin color

Jackson, Tennessee (July 9, 2021)

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee declared unconstitutional President Biden’s recently enacted program of forgiving loans for farmers based on the color of their skin. The Court also entered a nationwide injunction, halting the program throughout the country.

The case was brought by Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) and Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) on behalf of Rob Holman, a farmer from Union City, TN, whose family had been farming the same land in Obion County for generations. Holman had farm loans with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) but was ineligible for loan forgiveness solely because he was white. Holman expressed gratitude for the ending of the USDA’s discriminatory program.

The farm loan forgiveness program was a signature piece of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Relief Act. As part of President Biden’s directive to promote “equity,” the loan forgiveness program paid off the loans of black, Hispanic, American Indian, Native Alaskan and Hawaiian farmers, and awarded them an additional 20% of the value as a cash payment.

According to Braden H. Boucek, the director of litigation for SLF, “Today’s victory again proves that the Constitution does not allow the government to treat its citizens differently based on their skin color. State-sanctioned discrimination is wrong and unconstitutional.” Boucek continued, “Race-preferences cannot be allowed to rise again under the name of equity. The Constitution is strong and has held again in the face of yet another challenge to its guarantee of equality under the law and the self-evident truth that all men are created equal.”

SLF general counsel, Kimberly Hermann, said, “The Biden administration uses equity as a license to punish Americans – here farmers – because of their skin color. The Court’s order sends a clear message to President Biden that racially exclusive programs, whether on a farm or in a school, are unconstitutional.” Hermann continues, “Southeastern Legal Foundation has successfully fought against state-sanctioned discrimination for decades and will continue to do so in all venues throughout the country.”

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