Court Orders USDA To Stop Discriminating In Disaster Relief Based On Race Or Gender

In a significant ruling, a federal court in Texas has issued an injunction ordering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cease discriminating against farmers based on race or sex when awarding disaster relief funds. The decision comes in response to a case brought by the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), who argued that the USDA’s practices were unconstitutional.

The Mountain States Legal Foundation announced the nationwide injunction on X, stating, “We just received a NATIONWIDE INJUNCTION in the Strickland v. Vilsack case, which halts the racially discriminatory farmer relief payments being made by the USDA. The payments will no longer go out while the case proceeds! A proud moment for us & our partners.”

In April, a group of white farmers requested an emergency injunction to stop the USDA from using race, gender, or other “socially disadvantaged” traits to determine who receives disaster and pandemic farm aid and how much they receive. The farmers contended that natural disasters do not discriminate, and the USDA should not either.

The group claimed that the Biden administration had allocated roughly $25 billion in disaster and pandemic aid across eight programs, creating a system that made awards based on factors such as race and gender, which they argued violated the Fifth Amendment.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation commended the court’s decision, telling Just the News, “The court’s nationwide injunction ordering the USDA to stop discriminating against farmers in the administration of disaster relief programs because of their race or sex represents a win for freedom and equality.”

The USDA’s program appears to be rooted in an executive order from President Joe Biden, which the farmers allege discriminates against those not considered “socially disadvantaged” or “underserved.”