[Ed. – A continuation of this story.]
A federal judge in Florida halted the Biden administration’s new debt-relief program for minority farmers on Wednesday.
Judge Marcia Morales Howard, an appointee of President George W. Bush, temporarily blocked the Agriculture Department from implementing a $4 billion program aimed at helping distressed minority farmers on the basis that it likely violates white farmers’ rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. That argument was backed by several former aides in the Trump White House.
Howard ordered the Agriculture Department not to issue payments under the program for “socially disadvantaged” farmers until she can rule on the merits of the case. She wrote that the program, which is embedded in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan law, is “significantly likely” to violate the constitutional rights of the plaintiff, a white farmer named Scott Wynn.