Patterico's Pontifications

6/4/2021

Court: Biden Plan to Prioritize Women and Minorities for Coronavirus Relief Is Unconstitutional

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:12 am



I am late to this, but it’s significant enough to post about even a few days late.

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a conservative legal group that sought to stop President Joe Biden’s administration from giving priority status for COVID-19 relief to restaurants and bars owned by women and certain minorities.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Appeals Court issued a 2-1 opinion Thursday that said the government cannot allocate limited coronavirus relief funds based on race and sex. It issued an order for the government to stop using the criteria when processing an application from Antonio Vitolo, an East Tennessee restaurant owner.

The lawsuit was brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty on behalf of Vitolo, who owns Jake’s Bar and Grill in Harriman, Tennessee. The suit targets the three-week period from May 3 until May 24 during which the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund has been processing and funding requests only from businesses owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The Sixth Circuit’s opinion, which you can read here, puts the issue more directly and (I think) appropriately:

This case is about whether the government can allocate limited coronavirus relief funds based on the race and sex of the applicants. We hold that it cannot.

The opinion notes that the Government can point to no specific incidents of past discrimination that are being remedied by the law. Nor could the Government show much in the way of evidence of intentional discrimination against these groups — other than by presenting a handful of statistics that are dependent on so many different variables that there is no way to draw an inference of intentional discrimination from the examples given. Nor can the Government show that it was involved in such discrimination itself. Meanwhile, to the extent that policymakers were worried that women or minorities lacked access to credit, or had been deprived of the benefits of previous coronavirus relief packages, policymakers could have targeted relief to people who suffered from such maladies (poor credit or lack of benefit from previous programs) regardless of race.

That Biden tried to do this is shameful, and a perfect example of the race pandering that is one of his worst habits. But it’s not just Biden who is to blame. The opinion points to a regulation that appears to date back to 1998, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, under which the Small Business Administration “presumes certain applicants are socially disadvantaged based solely on their race or ethnicity.” And Congress passed the law knowing about that regulation. There is more broken here than a single president.

This kind of thinking is wrong. I’m glad a court recognized it.

11 Responses to “Court: Biden Plan to Prioritize Women and Minorities for Coronavirus Relief Is Unconstitutional”

  1. There are a lot of “For Lease” signs here, where restaurants used to be. Not the chains, of course, but the locally-owned ones were devastated. Even some chains. IHOPs all closed due to the NM franchisee dying and his children not wanting to bleed money into the pandemic. Small loss. The Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation salad-bar chain (97 locations) went broke nationally.

    Besides the deaths, there are a lot of hopes and dreams destroyed by the pandemic. Some due to customers staying away, some due to government bigfooting them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  2. That Biden tried to do this is shameful, and a perfect example of the race pandering that is one of his worst habits

    FIFY. His enviro-weenie pandering is worse.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. the ruling is sure to provoke sad face in oregon, so board up your windows

    https://www.opb.org/article/2020/11/25/oregon-cares-fund-coronavirus-pandemic-black-owned-businesses/

    JF (e1156d)

  4. Bet you they don’t appeal this.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. That Biden tried to do this is shameful, and a perfect example of the race pandering that is one of his worst habits.

    Hard to beat plagiarism; it is a close tie. Bu then, ‘you bought him; you own him.’

    https: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0S4XFJsJZU

    “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” – Joe Biden

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. Bet you they don’t appeal this.

    Well, they had three weeks of engaging in this illegal activity before it was put to a halt, so no doubt some favored voting blocs got what they were after, and by that light it was a success.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. Policies like these are what I despise about the progressive mindset.

    norcal (409ba1)

  8. Nor could the Government show much in the way of evidence of intentional discrimination against these groups — other than by presenting a handful of statistics that are dependent on so many different variables that there is no way to draw an inference of intentional discrimination from the examples given.

    Well, in the past, in some other states or in some Congressional districts, federal aid was handed out by politicians or people put in place by them, (and that was in many cases (in the south, pre-1970 correlated with race.)

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  9. Trump at least appointed a lot of pretty good judges. Whoever handed him that list did a good job.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. Prediction: The courts will so bedevil Biden and the progressives that they will ram through a court-packing law in 2022, only to have the Senate tied up in procedural foot-dragging that lets the 2022 election intervene, where they lose 3 seats. Then they do a Garland for two more years and then new GOP president fills the 13 seats herself.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. I could be wrong, of course.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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