A federal appeals court this week blocked the Biden administration from prioritizing grants in its restaurant relief program on the basis of race and gender.
In a 2–1 ruling, the 6th Circuit Court granted an injunction to a restaurant that sued the Small Business Administration to challenge its use of race and sex preferences when distributing its $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Funds. The court held that prioritizing women, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners for the first 21 days of the application period violated the equal protection clause.
Judge Amul Thapar, who wrote the majority opinion, ruled that the federal government lacks a compelling interest to use race preferences in awarding the grants. He also wrote that even if the government had a compelling interest, its scheme fails to be narrowly tailored to the interest because race-neutral alternatives exist.
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