Philip Greer, a coffee shop owner in Texas, sued the federal government in court for allegedly discriminating against business owners because they have been unable to receive COVID-19 assistance grants because of their race and sex.
Section 5003 of the Bailout Plan Act talks about prioritizing women, veterans, socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, who are allowed to receive a portion of the $28.6 billion allocated to create the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
.@TPPF joining @America1stLegal as co-counsel to sue the Biden Administration for discriminating against restaurant owners in violation of the United States Constitution. https://t.co/ioVa2OVwYC pic.twitter.com/jtgvI1PI6u
— Rob Henneke (@robhenneke) May 13, 2021
Greer claims that despite not belonging to that “priority” group he is suffering as much as they are from the economic consequences left by the pandemic.
According to Small Business Administration (SBA) regulations, socially disadvantaged persons are those “who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control.”
Also, the regulation says economically disadvantaged individuals are those whose “ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same or similar line of business who are not socially disadvantaged.”
Greer, who is represented by America First Legal (AFL) and Texas Public Policy Foundation, argues that such a policy actively excludes entire classes of Americans who are not named in the priority group and who are also suffering significant financial losses.
The lawsuit notes that the SBA is “reversing the clock on America’s progress” by “actively and unfairly discriminating against citizens solely based on their race and sex.”
“This is illegal, it is unconstitutional, it is wrong, and it must stop,” states the lawsuit, which also asks the court to block enforcement of any policy that discriminates against certain classes of Americans.
“This ensures that many American bar and restaurant owners will suffer deep financial losses, potentially even the loss of their businesses, because they were excluded by the government based solely on race,” the AFL release states.
Another discrimination lawsuit against the federal government
For his part, AFL President and former Trump adviser Stephen Miller in a statement said the Biden administration’s “decision from the Biden Administration to determine eligibility and priority for restaurant relief funds based upon race is profoundly illegal and morally outrageous.”
BREAKING: America First Legal has filed a new lawsuit against the Biden Admin for racially discriminating against restaurant/bar owners in the distribution of covid relief funds. https://t.co/JXTIYC7BG5 Visit https://t.co/lbf1yscZWP to help us stop their assault on civil rights.
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) May 13, 2021