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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Nate Jackson / Jun. 14, 2021

Judge Ends Biden’s ‘No Whites Allowed’ Farm Cash

The USDA’s discrimination is bad, but unconstitutional giveaways are the root problem.

It’s “Jim Crow on steroids,” complained Joe Biden. President Unity was not, however, talking about his own administration’s efforts to segregate whites and blacks in the name of “equity,” but rather the Georgia law to bolster election integrity in that state. He’s wrong on both counts — about the Peach State law and about blocking whites from receiving government aid based solely on their skin color.

Under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act passed earlier this year, Biden’s Department of Agriculture offered assistance to “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers who are black, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian American or Pacific Islander. The USDA says those producers face “systemic discrimination” and therefore apparently deserve systemic favoritism.

Yet the USDA ran into a roadblock when Judge William Griesbach of Wisconsin’s Eastern District said that this discriminatory practice must stop. He ruled in favor of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which filed suit in April on behalf of farmers in Wisconsin, as well as Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, and South Dakota. Griesbach halted the $4 billion program, saying the plaintiffs “are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim” that they have been denied pandemic relief dollars simply because they’re white. Indeed, the USDA’s “use of race-based criteria in the administration of the program violates their right to equal protection under the law,” Griesbach said.

“The Court recognized that the federal government’s plan to condition and allocate benefits on the basis of race raises grave constitutional concerns and threatens our clients with irreparable harm,” said Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel for WILL. “The Biden administration is radically undermining bedrock principles of equality under the law.”

The ruling is good news, but this is only one of several efforts by the Biden administration to discriminate against whites with COVID relief money. Numerous white restaurant owners are fighting a similar legal battle to stop such racism in pandemic aid.

Of course, fighting blatant racial discrimination, perhaps especially that perpetrated by the federal government, is crucial to upholding true justice. But there’s another issue here that we may be considered old cranks for pointing out.

In 1794, James Madison, the author of our Constitution, said of similar aid money, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” He also argued, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

Few Americans, most of all our “representatives,” remember such wisdom, instead choosing to dole out dollars for votes in every single appropriation passed. Perhaps this is a lost cause. As the saying goes, that ship has sailed. But most of the reason our federal budget is now a proposed $6 trillion is because politicians of every stripe insist on spending taxpayer money on the very kind of charity our Founders said had no place in government.

It’s not a few farmers or restaurant owners that are causing the problem. It’s the politicians who trample our Constitution and burden future generations with the cost of their faux “generosity.”

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