On March 29, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia received a complaint by two Black farmers, among others as part of a class action, alleging that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) disproportionately denied them federal farm loans. The plaintiffs alleged the USDA admitted to having a pattern and practice of discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities. The complaint delved into a complex story and long-standing claims from the two primary plaintiffs, with one farmer sharing that a loan manager stated, “I don’t lend to your kind” (italics omitted).

The plaintiffs asserted six causes of action. The first cause of action was under ECOA, where the plaintiffs alleged the USDA violated the ECOA by discriminating based on race. Second, the plaintiffs asserted a cause of action for discrimination under the APA. Third, the plaintiffs asserted a due process claim under the Fifth Amendment, alleging that the USDA allocated funds disproportionally in favor of White farmers. Fourth, the plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus barring USDA Committeemen from intervening in the loan process. Fifth, the plaintiffs asserted a claim for declaratory relief seeking a declaration that the USDA violated their rights. Finally, the plaintiffs asserted a claim to compel the production of requested documents under FOIA. 



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