Texas Judge Rules That a Federal Agency Discriminates Against Whites
Texas Judge Rules That a Federal Agency Discriminates Against Whites

By Patricia Tolson

A Texas judge has ruled that a government agency created to assist minority-owned businesses has discriminated against white people, violating the rights of all Americans to receive equal protection under the United States Constitution.

As explained in the 93-page Opinion and Order (pdf), the plaintiffs—three entrepreneurs in need of assistance for their businesses—sought help from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a federal agency headquartered in Washington, D.C. that provides “customized business development and industry-focused services to provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets.”

The MBDA was established under the U.S. Department of Commerce through Executive Order 11625 by President Richard M. Nixon on March 5, 1969.

The organization’s “vision“ is to provide ”Economic prosperity for all American business enterprises.“ However, it boasts of being ”the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises.”

Judge Mark T. Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that the MBDA does not serve “all American business enterprises,” but rather limits its assistance to “all American minority business enterprises.”

“But even that’s not the whole picture,” the judge’s Opinion states, explaining that MBDA “uses a codified list of preferred races/ethnicities to determine who gets benefits and who doesn’t.”

Moreover, Judge Pittman said MBDA assumes that anyone from the list of preferred races and ethnicities is inherently “socially or economically disadvantaged” and is therefore entitled to receive taxpayer-funded services. Anyone outside those groups—white or otherwise—is presumptively not disadvantaged and thus not entitled to benefits.

“If courts mean what they say when they ascribe supreme importance to constitutional rights, the federal government may not flagrantly violate such rights with impunity,” Judge Pittman wrote. “The MBDA has done so for years. Time’s up.”

The Plaintiffs

Jeffrey Nuziard is a disabled immigrant who escaped Communist Romania in the 1970s to seek the American dream, now calling Tarrant County, Texas home. He founded the Sexual Wellness Centers of Texas. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which dismantled his plans to expand, Mr. Nuziard began looking into federal grants.

Christian Bruckner, another disabled immigrant who came to the United States in search of his own American dream, is the founder of the Project Management Corporation, a federal contracting business in Florida. Because a federal contracting startup can be challenging, he also sought federal assistance to procure high-caliber contracts.

Matthew Piper grew up in extreme poverty in Colorado. However, through perseverance, he achieved academic excellence and graduated with honors from the distinguished environmental design program at U.C.-Boulder. After finding success in the corporate world, he started a firm in Colorado before becoming the founder of PIPER Architects in his new home-state of Wisconsin.

As Judge Pittman noted, the three men had much in common.

They all “worked hard to get where they are, they all overcame obstacles in pursuit of the American Dream, they all care deeply for their businesses, and they all wanted—but couldn’t obtain—assistance from the same federal program. They’re also all white, a salient detail in this case.”

‘An Important Development’

According to GianCarlo Canaparo, Judge Pittman’s ruling marks a “significant development” in the effort to reign in diversity, equity, and inclusion standards being used to provide an advantage based on race. More to the point, to exclude white people from the benefits of assistance programs simply because they are white.

He said, “One of the key takeaways” from the ruling is that the U.S. courts “have finally woken up to just how arbitrary America’s racial classifications are.”

Mr. Canaparo is a Senior Legal Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. The focus of his research includes race law.

“If there’s one thing courts do not tolerate in the law as written by legislators it’s arbitrariness,” Mr. Canaparo explained to The Epoch Times.

He cited the Supreme Court’s June 29, 2023, decision in the case of “Students for Fair Admission v. President and Fellows of Harvard College.”

In a 6-3 ruling, (pdf) the high court determined that the use of race-based affirmative action policies in guiding college admissions standards violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina “cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause.”

“Both programs lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points,” he wrote further, ruling that “We have never permitted admissions programs to work in that way, and we will not do so today.”

Mr. Canaparo also recalled the July 18, 2023, ruling by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. In the case of “Ultima v. US Department of Agriculture,“ the court determined that the use of a ”rebuttable presumption” of social disadvantage for specific minority groups by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and US Department of Agriculture—and using it as a qualification measure in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program—violates the Due Process Clause in the Fifth Amendment.

According to Mr. Canaparo, “the key” in the Texas case is that the advantages of assistance for business owners “is given to people who are socially or economically disadvantaged.”

“That’s the statutory language, and that’s defined by race,” he clarified, saying “race has very little to do with that.”

“This case is an important development,” he reiterated, arguing that the court’s ruling confirms that America’s racial categories “are just too arbitrary to be put to legal use.”

“I expect that we’re going to see a lot more cases in this vein because that premise is simply true,” he explained, saying the moment race is used to define a government’s purpose “the arbitrariness is just intolerable to judges.”

He also predicted that “The case will most certainly be appealed.”

“I hope it is appealed,” he said, suggesting the challenges to any discriminatory race-based policies “will win wherever they go.”

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