Judge denies Biden admin's request to stop lawsuit against race-based loan forgiveness program

The lawsuit was brought by a farmer who is not eligible for the program.

Published: August 4, 2021 8:47pm

Updated: August 4, 2021 9:39pm

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee denied the Biden administration's request to stop a farmer's lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) loan forgiveness program based on race.

The USDA filed a motion to place a hold on the legal proceedings, but the court determined that the burden to do so had not been met by the government.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) and Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) are representing Rob Holman, a white farmer from Union City, Tenn., in his case against the USDA, which is only forgiving loans of farmers who are Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic, American Indian, black, or Native Alaskan. 

Holman's family has farmed his land for generations, and he had farm loans with the USDA that were ineligible for forgiveness because of his race, according to SLF.

"The Biden administration continues trying to delay the inevitable—this program is discriminatory, unconstitutional, and flat out wrong," said Braden H. Boucek, the Director of Litigation for SLF. "Americans cannot be expected to run on the government’s timetable while their rights hang in the balance."

The case addresses unequal treatment of citizens, a group member said.

"Americans have fought too long and too hard to guarantee equality under the law to accept backsliding and delay," said Cece O’Leary, an attorney for SLF. "When the government tries to treat its citizens differently based on their skin color, it’s an urgent matter. SLF will not waver in its commitment to hold the government accountable to the promises it makes to its citizens. We’ve successfully fought against state-sanctioned racism for decades. We will do so here, and sooner rather than later."

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