Federal Court overturns race-based restaurant bailouts in Biden’s COVID-19 spending bill
A federal appeals court overturned racist provisions of President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 partisan spending program, which designated billions in priority financial assistance to largely minority-owned restaurants.
In the 2-1 decision released Thursday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that showing favoritism towards small restaurants at least “51% owned and controlled by women, veterans or” socially and economically disadvantaged ” is a violation of the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause which prohibits states from making or enforcing laws that “reduce the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor will any state deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without legal process; nor deny anyone under its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. “
In the majority opinion, Justice Amul Thapar expressed concern that the 21-day period imposed on the Small Business Administration’s limited distribution of money did not provide equal opportunities for those affected by government-mandated lockdowns, including the plaintiff, Jake’s Bar and Grill, which is owned by Antonio Vitolo, and his wife, who is Hispanic but did not qualify for the financial grant.
“The Small Business Administration injected explicit racial and ethnic preferences into the prioritization process,” Thapar wrote. “Under a pre-pandemic settlement, the agency assumes that some applicants are socially disadvantaged based solely on their race or ethnicity… If you belong to any of these groups, the Small Business Administration assumes that you are socially disadvantaged. Indeed, the only way not to qualify is if someone shows up “with credible evidence to the contrary”.
While dissenting judge Bernice Donald, asserted that the government is allowed to use “classifications based on race to remedy past discrimination,” Thapar also noted that “the timing of racial preferences detailed in government regulations – preferences for Pakistanis but not for Afghans; Japanese but not Iraqis; Hispanics, but not from the Middle East, is not at all supported by archival evidence. “
Jordan Davidson is a writer for the Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minor in journalism.