The Biden Administration has emphasized racial and gender prioritization in a variety of programs from vaccinations to pandemic relief. One such program doled out billions to restaurants based on racial and gender priorities that were challenged in various lawsuits. A Texas judge has now blocked that effort as unconstitutional discrimination and enjoined the Administration from giving such preferential treatment based on racial and gender classifications.
Under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, the Administration announced that it would give priority to businesses owned by women, racial minorities, veterans, and other “socially and economically disadvantaged.” Philip Greer a white restaurant owner, sued over race and gender discrimination. In a 18-page decision, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor found that Greer is “experiencing race and sex discrimination at the hand of government officials” in the Biden Administration. Greer owns the Greer’s Ranch Café, and claims to have lost nearly $100,000 in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) is administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) but Greer told the court that he did not submit an application because he was barred from consideration for the program’s first twenty-one days from May 3 to May 24, 2021. ARPA mandates that the SBA “take such steps as necessary” to prioritize eligible restaurants “owned and controlled” by “women,”3 by “veterans,”4 and by those “socially and economically disadvantaged.”
Notably, both parties agreed that strict scrutiny applied, but the Biden Administration insisted that such race and gender classification were needed to “remedy the effects of past and present discrimination”. Nevertheless, the court found that the Administration was engaging in racial and gender discrimination. – READ MORE
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