Judge orders USDA to stop discriminating against farmers

 June 9, 2024

A federal judge has just ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop using race and sex to determine where to send disaster relief. 

The judge, according to Just The News, released the order in the case - Strickland v. Vilsack - on Friday.

What the judge actually did was impose a nationwide injunction on the USDA, stopping it from engaging in discriminatory practices.

The case was brought, on behalf of farmers, by the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Southeastern Legal Foundation.


Essentially, the groups are arguing that the Biden administration is awarding disaster relief based on such factors as race and gender in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Just the News reports:

The group claimed the Biden administration has taken roughly $25 billion in disaster and pandemic aid approved by Congress for farmers in eight programs and devised a system to make awards based on race, and gender among other factors, which violates the fifth amendment.

The outlet goes on to provide more detail. It reports:

The group alleged that the department was discriminatory by "defining farmers who are black/African-American, American Indian, Alaskan native, Hispanic, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or a woman as ‘socially disadvantaged,’” and then gave those people more money than people not considered "underserved," for the same thing.

In case you are wondering why the USDA is doing this, it would appear that the agency is following an executive order that has been put forth by President Joe Biden.

The injunction, however, means that these discriminatory practices will be stopped while the matter continues to be litigated.


Both the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Southeastern Legal Foundation are celebrating the judge's ruling.

The former released a statement, saying:

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

The Southeastern Legal Foundation released a similar statement.

It wrote:

ALERT: Federal court orders USDA to stop discriminating based on race or sex when it awards natural disaster relief to farmers. @SLF_Liberty & @MSLF are proud to represent American farmers in this important fight for freedom and equality!

The big question now is whether we will see an appeal of this injunction. At the time of this writing, the answer is unclear. But, one would have to expect that an appeal is likely.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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