Oregon Defends State Coronavirus Program Giving Federal Funds to Black People Only
The state of Oregon continues to defend a program that spends a third of the money they received from the CARES Act on programs for Blacks only. Hispanics and Native Americans and other minorities need not apply. There are currently two federal lawsuits over this program. No doubt it is unconstitutional because it does not treat everyone equally.
It doesn’t even treat all minorities equally. One of the lawsuits was brought by Maria Garcia, a Mexican American who owns Revolucion, a coffee shop. Because she is just looking for equal treatment, she is being labeled anti-Black. I guess all minorities are created equal. The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown is very supportive of BLM even when they are violent. So, no other minority need not apply in Brown’s Oregon.
The Oregon Cares Fund is for Black people, Black owned businesses and Black charitable organizations. The state is spending $62 million of it’s $200 million allotment on the program. This is patently unfair. I have no problem with tax dollars being used to help the disadvantaged except when it is done at the expense of other disadvantaged people.
At the time, the Oregon Legislative Counsel warned that the program might be unconstitutional, especially because the legislature had not shown evidence that past discrimination was responsible for black Oregonians’ suffering during COVID:
As discussed below, we think the program may potentially, but would not necessarily, violate the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution and the privileges and immunities clause of the Oregon Constitution.
Under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits states from denying “equal protection of the laws” to individuals, state laws that classify individuals according to race or gender are subject to special scrutiny.
We are not aware of any evidentiary findings by the legislature or the Emergency Board in support of the OBDD grant program at issue here. Without any such findings, the program would almost certainly be unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said last month:
“The data show that Black Oregonians are experiencing disproportionate harm from COVID-19. … We must not allow pernicious and ideologically-motivated lawsuits to impede our efforts to deliver critical resources to Oregonians amid a devastating pandemic.”
Are not Hispanics and Native Americans not suffering disproportionate harm from COVID-19?
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