The Biden administration is facing another discrimination lawsuit, accused once again of employing identity politics to play favorites.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed the complaint in U.S. District Court-Northern Texas alleging President Joe Biden’s Minority Business Development Agency “violates the Constitution’s core requirement of equal treatment under the law.”
The agency, created under the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, is tasked with assisting some business owners — in “underserved communities” — and not others, the lawsuit claims. It’s part of Biden’s woke “whole-of-government equity agenda” that must, in part, “allocate resources to address the historic failures to invest sufficiently, justly, and equally in underserved communities, as well as individuals from those communities.”
Said “underserved communities” category is limited to the following racial groups: “Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color.” Other racial groups, such as whites, north Africans, Middle Eastern peoples, north Asians, and others who do not identify with the specified racial preferences, are excluded from special treatment, the lawsuit alleges.
The Minority Business Development Agency is operating on $550 million in taxpayer money through fiscal year 2025. Its mission is to “promote the growth of minority owned businesses.”
In February, Biden issued an executive order “advancing racial equity.” He ordered his Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development Donald R. Cravins Jr. to “create equitable opportunity and advance projects that build community wealth.” Building “community wealth,” however, is limited to “the capacities of underserved communities,” which again is focused on certain racial groups, but not others.
The agency notes on its website that it is “the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises.”
According to the lawsuit, business owners, including minorities, who are not members of the government’s preferred racial or ethnic groups are presumed ineligible for MBDA programs and services, and denied equal access to these services “based on their disfavored race or ethnicity.” While it is theoretically possible for a non-minority owned business to receive services, they must make additional showings and overcome obstacles not applicable to minority businesses.
“These businesses are treated less favorably based on the race of their owner,” the lawsuit alleges.
Christian Bruckner, one of three plaintiffs suing Biden and the Commerce Department officials, is a white male who lives in Tampa, Florida. As an immigrant, he came to the United States in the 1970s to escape Romania’s communist regime.
In 1989, Bruckner was permanently disabled from injuries sustained in a car crash, the lawsuit notes. With more than 20 years in contracting, Bruckner owns a project management business. He’s interested in the Minority Business Development Agency because it offers assistance and resources to businesses that seek contracting opportunities.
But he’s white and does not fall under the “underserved communities” category.
“I came to the United States in the 1970s because of the belief that America is the freest nation on earth. And that no matter who you are, what you are, or where you came from, you can do anything,” Bruckner said. “That’s what we are fighting for and I am proud to stand alongside WILL in pursuit of true equality for all.”
WILL is asking the court to declare the MBDA unconstitutional and in violation of federal law because it provides Business Center Program benefits based on race or ethnicity. The lawsuit also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the Biden administration from imposing racial and ethnic classifications with the MBDA and from using the term “minority” to advertise or reference their statutorily authorized programs and services.
“America must continue to advance towards a colorblind society where every person is judged on their merit and not the color of their skin,” said Dan Lennington, WILL deputy counsel. “The Biden Administration’s choice to create this race-based agency is a step back for civil rights, and we aim to correct that misstep.”
Tuesday’s lawsuit marks WILL’s eighth complaint against the Biden administration, including a 2021 lawsuit alleging discriminatory practices at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In that case, a federal judge in Wisconsin halted the USDA’s loan forgiveness program for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Joe Biden” by The White House. Background Photo “Courtroom” by Carol M. Highsmith.