Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a Republican, sued the Biden administration Monday, alleging the administration’s Department of Agriculture discriminated against white farmers.
Miller filed a federal lawsuit in his private capacity as a citizen and not on behalf of his public office against Biden Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
In the lawsuit, Miller claimed the Agriculture Department under President Joe Biden’s leadership excluded whites in their coronavirus relief package for farmers and ranchers, which he said violates the Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“These racial exclusions are patently unconstitutional, and the court should permanently enjoin their enforcement,” the 11-page complaint states.
“Doing so will promote equal rights under the law for all American citizens and promote efforts to stop racial discrimination because ‘[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,’” the complaint continued.
The complaint argued that whites have also been subject to discrimination throughout American history and should qualify as a “socially disadvantaged group” of farmers or ranchers.
“The Department of Agriculture interprets this phrase to include African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan natives, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders,” the lawsuit noted.
“But white farmers and ranchers are not included within the definition of ‘socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,’ making them ineligible for aid under these federal programs,” the lawsuit continued.
Miller is being represented by the America First Legal Foundation, which is headed up by former White House adviser Stephen Miller. There is no known relation to the plaintiff.
The lead counsel on the case is Jonathan Mitchell, a former clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a law professor, and the former Texas Solicitor General.
The case has been assigned to Judge Reed O’Connor, a favorite among constitutional conservatives.
This case is Miller v. Vilsack Case No. 4:21-cv-00595 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.