Michael Swartz / June 2, 2021

Biden’s Racial Bias Loses in Court

The Small Business Administration illegally favored minorities for COVID relief.

Back in January, we told you that the Biden administration was going to make it a goal that some people would be more equal than others. “The Biden administration’s obsession with race-based policies is built around a single troubling word,” we said, and that word is equity.

Now, equity isn’t such a bad thing in the financial world — ask anyone who takes advantage of the equity they’ve built up in their home. Merriam Webster’s first definition is good, too — “justice according to natural law or right; specifically: freedom from bias or favoritism.”

But leftists love to redefine words in order to push their agenda, and that often involves making words mean their exact opposite. Thus, “equity” becomes using bias and favoritism to benefit select “victim” groups and achieve “social justice” and “unity.” When it comes to government policy, such blatant choosing of winners and losers based on long-ago discrimination creates many more losers than winners. For the moment, however, a handful of those losers have snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat by taking their grievances to federal court.

In the initial case, Texas restaurant owner Philip Greer and other plaintiffs sought a temporary injunction against the distribution of COVID restaurant relief funds by the Small Business Administration. Buried in the fine print of the $28.6 billion in funding for eligible restaurant owners was a proviso that a priority period of 21 days would be allotted to those the government deemed eligible as women, veterans, and certain minorities. Given the history of such programs, Greer feared being shut out. Judge Reed O'Connor of the Northern District of Texas agreed: “The SBA’s announcement of May 12, 2021, raises the prospect that the entire $28.6 billion that Congress appropriated will be depleted before applications submitted by white male non-veterans such as Mr. Greer are even eligible to be considered. Indeed, it makes it more than likely that the appropriated funds will be depleted.” The announcement revealed that 147,000 of those deemed eligible to cut in line had requested $29 billion in funding, meaning the well would indeed be dry for everyone else.

Meanwhile, a similar case played out in the Sixth Circuit, where a divided three-judge panel ruled that the Biden administration couldn’t show its equity scheme was necessary to achieve a compelling state interest. Restaurant owner Antonio Vitolo’s case was initially rejected by an Obama-appointed district judge but was successful upon emergency appeal to the circuit court.

As the Wall Street Journal editorial board summarized in the wake of these cases, “This legal analysis is an arrow to the heart of much of the Biden Administration’s racially divisive agenda. It will, at a minimum, force the Biden lawyers to explain their justification for distributing racial spoils with far more specificity. Even if they do, these and similar cases may end up at the Supreme Court.”

Added Stephen Miller, who represented the Texas plaintiffs on behalf of his America First Legal firm, “This ruling is the first, but crucial, step towards ending government-sponsored racial discrimination. We are proud to have obtained this order for our courageous client at this initial stage, but we have a long way to go.” America First has also taken on a similar case involving “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” who were made eligible for COVID relief while others deemed advantaged received none.

It’s yet another example of not letting a crisis go to waste for the Biden administration. In a normal economy, these race-baiting hucksters would only have so much leeway in giving the advantage to favored constituents, but add a few trillion dollars in government spending and we get reparations on steroids. While it’s good that those who desire true equality and leveling the playing field earned a couple victories in court, the unfortunate truth is that we’re going to be playing the legal version of whack-a-mole for at least the next three and a half years.

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