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Lawsuits & Litigation

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Under Fire for Discriminating Against White Farmers

— April 29, 2021

A lawsuit was recently filed over complaints that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan discriminates against white farmers.

Earlier this week, a lawsuit was filed by Stephen Miller, a former Trump aide, on behalf of Texas’s agricultural commissioner and others over claims that a proposal enacted by Congress as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan discriminates against white people. The proposal under fire sets aside funds for “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.” However, the suit claims that, via the program, “the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is actively and invidiously discriminating against American citizens solely based upon their race.” 

A man in a suit speaking into a microphone in front of an American flag backdrop.
Joe Biden. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

Miller works with America First Legal (AFL) and states:

“The United States Department of Agriculture administers numerous statutes that provide government aid to ‘socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers’…The Department of Agriculture interprets this phrase to include African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan natives, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders…But white farmers and ranchers are not included within the definition of ‘socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,’ making them ineligible for aid under these federal programs.”

The suit further states:

“These racial exclusions are patently unconstitutional, and the Court should permanently enjoin their enforcement…Doing so will promote equal rights under the law for all American citizens and promote efforts to stop racial discrimination.” 

The lead plaintiff in the case is Sid Miller, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner. However, AFL claims he is “acting in his personal capacity as a private citizen rather than on behalf of the state.” When the lawsuit was announced, Stephen Miller cited the late Martin Luther King, Jr., and wrote, “Americans ‘should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’” He added:

“MLK’s vision is fundamental to our democracy, in which all citizens are equal both in front of the law and in the eyes of their Creator…For this reason, AFL is filing a lawsuit today against the Biden Administration to prevent it from administering programs created under the American Rescue Plan Act that discriminate against American farmers and ranchers based upon the basis of race.”

He also cited a 2007 ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts that says, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” 

In response to the complaint, the Agriculture Department said that while it reviews it, it will “continue to implement the debt relief to qualified socially disadvantaged borrowers under the American Rescue Plan Act.”

This isn’t the only legal complaint that Miller and the AFL have filed against the Biden administration. In fact, earlier this month they filed a complaint over Biden’s immigration policies. The complaint argues the “Biden administration’s abandonment of their authority under the law means more Texans will be exposed to Covid-19, more Texans will contract Covid-19, more Texans will die of Covid-19 and Texas will incur significant costs in terms of health care and law enforcement resources.”


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