May 19, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Late last night, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a temporary restraining order against the Biden Administration’s Small Business Administration. America First Legal asked for a Temporary Restraining Order seeking to protect its client–a restaurant owner in Texas who lost revenue due to the decrease in business caused by COVID-19–from racial discrimination in the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
America First Legal (AFL) specifically takes issue with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) handling of the $28.6 billion in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund within President Biden’s American Rescue Plan package passed by Congress.
The legal complaint argues that the fund requires the SBA “to discriminate among restaurants according to the race and sex of the owner,” by specifying that during the first 21 days of the program that officially began last week, the SBA administrator must “‘prioritize awarding grants’ to businesses owned by women and racial minorities.
In the order, Judge O’Connor of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas wrote that “Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that Defendants’ [the Biden Administration’s] use of race-based and sex-based preferences in the administration of the RRF violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.”
AFL President Stephen Miller issued the following statement:
“This ruling is the first, but crucial, step towards ending government-sponsored racial discrimination. We are proud to have obtained this order for our courageous client at this initial stage, but we have a long way to go. America First Legal is on the cutting-edge of the fight for civil rights in America – and we will never back down.
“The facts of the case are straightforward: hard-hit American restaurant owners can apply for urgently-needed pandemic relief. But the government puts some owners at the back of the line for access to a limited pool of money based on their race. So we are presented with a simple but vital question: can the government reward or punish American citizens based upon the color of their skin or the ancestry of their families? We all know the answer. Racial discrimination, in any form, is legally and morally wrong. It is un-American. It is unconscionable. And it must be stopped.
“There is a fashionable movement among the ultra-elite known as Critical Race Theory — a hateful, prejudiced theory rooted in Marxist thought that views all people and actions through the lens of race. This new wave of government discrimination is evidence of how far that dangerous ideology has permeated — and how strongly we must fight back. And that is exactly what America First Legal is here to do.”
This case is the result of a partnership between America First Legal and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The temporary restraining order can be found here. The AFL/TPPF filings can be accessed here.