Legal victory: federal court halts USDA’s discriminatory disaster relief program via nationwide injunction

AMARILLO, TX (June 7, 2024): In a major win for farmers across America, a Texas federal court issued a preliminary nationwide injunction halting the Biden Administration from awarding disaster relief based on race and sex following a lawsuit brought by Southeastern Legal Foundation and Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of Texas farmers.

Under an illegal and unconstitutional funding program, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been awarding more congressional disaster relief money to “socially disadvantaged” farmers—farmers who are of certain races or women—than other farmers. Plaintiffs Rusty Strickland, Alan West, and Bryan Baker—all white men who were not “socially disadvantaged” or “underserved” as USDA defined those terms—received less money in disaster relief funds than if they had been of a different race or sex.

The court held that the program runs afoul of the constitutional guarantee of equality because it discriminates on the basis of race and sex. It granted Plaintiffs’ request to halt the Biden Administration from continuing the program unless and until it stops this discrimination.

Southeastern Legal Foundation states, “This is a major win for freedom and equality in our nation. Every executive agency under the Biden Administration has adopted so-called equity, which is not the same as equality because it promotes socially engineered outcomes instead of equal opportunity. We are pleased that the court agrees and sees through the USDA’s unconstitutional scheme, and we are proud to stand beside America’s farmers in holding their government accountable.”

Mountain States Legal Foundation states, “Discrimination has no place in federal spending. MSLF and SLF have stopped the Biden Administration from implementing their racist spending programs before, but the government apparently failed to learn the lesson. This latest injunction halting discriminatory disaster relief will be a fresh reminder that we are all created equal, and that the Constitution guarantees Americans the equal protection of the laws.”

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