A conservative legal organization with significant ties to former President Donald Trump is suing the administration of President Joe Biden. The lawsuit claims that the administration’s stimulus funds meant for “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” illegally discriminates against White agricultural workers.
The lawsuit was filed by America First Legal on April 26 in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, on behalf of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. The main defendant was listed as Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
America First Legal was formed in April 2021 by Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former senior adviser Stephen Miller. The group says its strategies are inspired by the “legal warfare model” employed by the Democratic Party during Trump’s term to thwart his agenda. The organization further says its mission is to “oppose the radical left’s anti-jobs, anti-freedom, anti-faith, anti-borders, anti-police and anti-American crusade.”
This is the first lawsuit America First Legal has pursued so far.
The suit is challenging how the Biden administration defines those who qualify as “socially disadvantaged.” According to America First Legal, the stimulus program, which was enacted as part of Biden’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic relief program, discriminates against White farmers because they are unable to receive the same financial aid as non-White farmers.
The Agriculture Department defines a “socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher” to be a person belonging to “groups [that] include, but are not limited to African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, refugees, immigrants.”
America First Legal is arguing that the Agriculture Department is “lurching America dangerously backward” by excluding White farmers and ranchers from accessing the same financial aid opportunities as non-White agricultural workers. The group is arguing that the decision to “actively and invidiously” discriminate against White people is illegal and unconstitutional and must be stopped.
The lawsuit further argues:
“Equal rights under law is the cornerstone of American constitutional jurisprudence: the principle that all citizens, regardless of status, wealth, race, color, religion or creed, have the same rights and are entitled to the same standard of justice. These are the principles etched into our founding documents, fought for on our nation’s battlefields, written into the Gettysburg Address and delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by Martin Luther King.”
During an appearance on Newsmax TV, Miller argued that awarding aid to farmers based on their skin color is “fundamentally un-American,”
“I would argue – and my organization would argue – that that violates federal nondiscrimination rules,” said Miller. “We are suing to say that this lawless policy needs to be enjoined.”
Miller said that the stimulus package provides $5 billion just to compensate Black farmers for their losses during the pandemic. The former Trump adviser said this is “racial discrimination on its face” because the stimulus does not provide the same opportunities to White farmers.
America First Legal’s lawsuit seeks a court order finding the administration’s plan to provide for non-White farmers and ranchers to be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it discriminates against “Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews and Eastern Europeans.”
“Millions of people were hurt by this pandemic,” explained Miller. “Millions of people were hurt as a result of the closures, the shutdowns, the disruptions to our lives. And when it comes to getting financial aid, it shouldn’t matter what race or ethnicity you are.”
“You can’t make a more equal country, you can’t make a more unified country if we split and divide based on race.”