A plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging racial minority provisions that exclude whites in the farm and ranch relief sections of the American Rescue Plan Act, laid out her case in a New York Post op-ed.
Leisl Carpenter owns the Flying Heart Ranch in Wyoming’s West Laramie Valley that raises 500 head of cattle and the hay to feed them on 2,400 heavily-mortgaged acres, just like most ranchers.
“It’s true that many minority-owned farms are struggling,” Carpenter wrote in the op-ed. “But my family’s struggles are no less real, and my family is no less deserving of aid. We’ve worked just as hard, and our contributions to our nation’s critical food supply are just as important.”
Carpenter says the “definition of ‘socially disadvantaged,’ found elsewhere in federal law, “is brazenly racial” and that it’s “designed to racially humiliate Americans like me.”
Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Southeastern Legal Foundation filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court, District of Wyoming on Carpenter’s behalf.
“Why I’m suing to stop Biden’s blatantly anti-white farm-aid bill” https://t.co/qQWvl6CnGi
Wyoming rancher Leisl Carpenter, in her own words, via the @newyorkpost #Ranching #farming @USDA #race #Discrimination #legalnwews #equalprotection #copolitics @slf_liberty @MSLF pic.twitter.com/81KD2QX4xp
— Mountain States Legal Foundation (@MSLF) June 16, 2021
A federal judge in Wisconsin’s Eastern District has recently issued a temporary restraining order against the law on behalf of 12 plaintiffs in a similar case.
The Department of Agriculture says that it will defend the law’s provisions on race.
“The government has created a program that distributes government benefits based solely on the race of the farmer, and Supreme Court precedent is very clear the government can’t do that without a very good reason,” Luke Berg, deputy counsel with the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, told NPR.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the law is meant to combat the cumulative effect of systemic racism in the Department of Agriculture.
Previously, Carpenter had called the racial provisions in the plan “blatant discrimination.”
“Skin color is the most important consideration,” says Carpenter of the qualifying provisions for aid, and added that President Joe Biden “has used this bill as an opportunity to further divide our country.”