A federal judge in Florida issues a preliminary injunction halting a key part of the Biden administration’s federal stimulus relief package that forgave agricultural debts to farmers of color.
US district judge Marcia Morales Howard stopped the loan forgiveness payments and debt relief for disadvantaged farmers of color anywhere in the US.
The lawsuit was filed by a Florida farmer who also has farm loans and faces financial hardship because of the pandemic and government-imposed shut down. The farmer said the debt relief program discriminates against him by race, because he is white.
Judge Howard writes that the debt program benefiting farmers based on race must also heed the obligation of congress to do away with any governmental imposed discrimination based on race.
The debt forgiveness program is part of president Joe Biden’s American rescue plan.