A federal court in Texas has issued a stinging rebuke of the Biden administration’s so-called “equity agenda.”

“In a lawsuit challenging the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) — a new federal agency dedicated to helping only certain preferred racial groups — a federal judge ruled that the Biden administration cannot discriminate based on race,” Fox News reported on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee, essentially gave the administration a lesson in civics in his ruling, noting: “The Constitution demands equal treatment under the law.”

Fox News noted:

While such a statement should be obvious to any American, this was quite a painful blow to the administration. On his first day in office, President Biden declared a “whole of government” approach to racial equity, requiring all his agencies to “affirmatively advance[e] equity.” In practice, the equity agenda resulted in a bevy of programs open to some races, but not others. Farmers, restaurant owners, homeowners, small business owners and federal contractors all got billions in federal tax dollars, so long as they belonged to certain racial groups. 

The MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency) is the central element of the equity agenda. Established as a permanent federal agency under the Infrastructure Act in November 2021, the MBDA aims to support specific minority business owners by providing grants, training, consulting, government contracts, and other advantages to enhance their financial performance. As Under Secretary of Commerce Donald Cravins stated, “If you are a minority entrepreneur, MBDA is your agency.”

According to Pittman’s ruling, the MBDA does not extend its assistance to business owners with ancestral ties to the Middle East, North Africa, or North Asia. Furthermore, the MBDA excludes all minority business owners who own less than 51% of their businesses from receiving its support.

Consequently, when Biden mentioned “building community wealth” for “underserved communities” as part of his equity agenda, he expressly referred to preferred racial groups such as blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and certain Southeast Asians. Most non-white groups are actually excluded from taking part in the program, Pittman noted.

The administration’s questionable efforts to categorize individuals based on race, such as the inclusion of Pakistani Americans while excluding Afghani Americans, are indicative of a deeper issue. As Chief Justice John Roberts once expressed, “divvying us up by race” is a “sordid business.”

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Attorney Daniel Lennington noted in his Fox News column: “Enter Greg Nuziard, Christian Bruckner and Matt Piper. These three White small business owners from Texas, Florida and Wisconsin, sued the Biden administration, alleging that the MBDA is an unconstitutional agency. Represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, where I serve as deputy counsel, all three men attempted to get help from the MBDA but couldn’t because of the color of their skin.”

“In an email from the MBDA Office in Orlando, Florida, the MBDA told Christian Bruckner that because he was White, they couldn’t help him, but they would be happy to ‘refer you to our strategic partner… for assistance.’ Separate but equal, literally,” he added.

During the court proceedings, attorneys representing the Biden administration staunchly defended the race-based agency, asserting that such race discrimination was warranted as it aimed to address the lingering consequences of historical inequities resulting from racial prejudice. According to that argument, Lennington noted, past practices like redlining, Jim Crow laws, and the denial of benefits from the G.I. Bill provide contemporary policymakers with a basis to prioritize certain racial groups over Whites and other non-preferred racial groups.

“If this sounds familiar, it should. This is the theory of systemic racism, a modern-day progressive religion, which declares that all present-day racial disparities are caused by past race discrimination, despite clear evidence to the contrary (documented aptly by academics like Thomas Sowell),” he noted further.

“Pittman was not persuaded. In ruling against the Biden administration, he explained that the Constitution forbids race discrimination and that the government cannot justify a racial preference merely by pointing to statistical disparities. Allowing this type of justification for a race-based program would give ‘governments license to create a patchwork of racial preferences based on statistical generalizations about any particular field of endeavor,’” Lennington concluded.

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