the federal JUDGES Florida temporarily suspended a $ 4 billion debt relief program targeted at racially motivated farmers, saying Wednesday it discriminated against.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard ruled in favor of the Florida native farmers Scott Wynn, who is white, and who filed a lawsuit to block the program in May. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is implementing the program as part of President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion relief package COVID-19 relief package seeks to distribute funds to “socially disadvantaged farmers.”
The rule of “strict, categorical, race-based qualification for comfort is the antithesis of flexibility,” Written by Howard (pdf) Wednesday.
“The provision of lending is set to apply to racial factors whatever the reason.”
The USDA program may continue to provide funds as the court continues to determine which provisions should be considered unconstitutional, according to the judge. Howard also noted that some minority farmers faced obstacles in the past but said the current policy is biased against white farmers.
“It cannot be denied – and especially without rivalry among the parties – that the USDA has a dark history of past discrimination against peasant minorities,” the judge ruled.
“It would appear that in enacting Section 1005, Congress relied, even without any malicious intent, on current discrimination to address past discrimination,” he said. he wrote.
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