A court has ruled President Joe Biden’s administration cannot use race or sex as factors in determining the distribution of COVID-19 relief funds.
The 2 to 1 ruling of the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals determined the Small Business Administration (SBA) violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by prioritizing minority and female owned restaurants with coronavirus relief funding.
The ruling overturns a recent decision to uphold the plan from a federal judge in May.
“Government policies that classify people by race are presumptively invalid,” Judge Amul Thapar, a Trump appointee, wrote for the court, according to the Washington Times.
“Like racial classifications, sex-based discrimination is presumptively invalid.”
“When the government promulgates race-based policies, it must operate with a scalpel. And its cuts must be informed by data that suggest intentional discrimination. The broad statistical disparities cited by the government are not nearly enough,” Judge Thapar wrote.
“The policy’s use of race violates equal protection,” the judge added.
In her dissent, Judge Berncie Donald said the Supreme Court has allowed “race-based classifications to remediate past discrimination.”
“The majority’s reasoning suggests we live in a world in which centuries of intentional discrimination and oppression of racial minorities have been eradicated,” she wrote.
The ruling will have large ramifications for the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief plans, as Americans will be able to receive funding based on need rather than external factors.