A federal judge in Green Bay, Wisconsin issued a temporary restraining order, suspending a USDA loan forgiveness program for socially disadvantaged farmers. The American Rescue Plan pays off up to 120 percent of direct and guaranteed USDA loans. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the program, saying federal payments should not be based on race. One of the lawyers working on the case, Luke Berg, says the preliminary order only halts the USDA program two to three weeks while the court can rule on the injunction. “This is a strong signal the program is likely to be found unconstitutional at that stage as well, given the government hasn’t provided a compelling basis for relying solely on the race of farmers to forgive loans.” This is one of at least five lawsuits pending on this USDA program.
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