A conservative non-profit legal team has secured a temporary restraining order on behalf of a Texas restaurant owner against what critics say is discriminatory and racist criteria for awarding Covid-19 relief funds under the Biden administration.
The restaurant owner filing suit says he was prohibited from consideration for an award from the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund during the program's first twenty-one days because he is a white male.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 directs the Small Business Administration to give preferential treatment to businesses owned by women, veterans, and people who are "socially and economically disadvantaged".
The federal law uses a controversial "critical race theory" definition of "socially and economically disadvantaged" that can only include minority groups.
Nine days into the program, the Small Business Administration announced it expected the funds to run out before the program could be offered to others.
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 Legal is on the cutting-edge of the fight for civil rights in America – and we will never back down.
“The facts of the case are straightforward: hard-hit American restaurant owners can apply for urgently-needed pandemic relief. But the government puts some owners at the back of the line for access to a limited pool of money based on their race. So we are presented with a simple but vital question: can the government reward or punish American citizens based upon the color of their skin or the ancestry of their families? We all know the answer. Racial discrimination, in any form, is legally and morally wrong. It is un-American. It is unconscionable. And it must be stopped.
“There is a fashionable movement among the ultra-elite known as Critical Race Theory — a hateful, prejudiced theory rooted in Marxist thought that views all people and actions through the lens of race. This new wave of government discrimination is evidence of how far that dangerous ideology has permeated — and how strongly we must fight back. And that is exactly what America First Legal is here to do.”America First Legal President Stephen Miller
The court temporarily halted the program, stating "Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that Defendants’ [the Biden Administration’s] use of race-based and sex-based preferences in the administration of the RRF violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution".
A follow-up hearing is scheduled for May 24, 2021, in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
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