June 19, 2021

MY FORMER STUDENT MATTHEW MCCLANAHAN WON THIS ONE: Judges Halt Race and Gender Priority for Restaurant Relief Grants.

On May 27 — three days after the 21-day priority period ended — a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit sided with Antonio Vitolo, an owner of Jake’s Bar and Grill in Harriman, Tenn., who said he had “been pushed to the back of the line” because he is a white man.

In a 2-to-1 decision, the court said, “When the government promulgates race-based policies, it must operate with a scalpel.” The Small Business Administration’s “scattershot approach” was unconstitutional, the court found.

Matthew McClanahan, a lawyer for Mr. Vitolo, said his client was pleased with the decision.

A similar case in Texas by the owners of two restaurants — the Lost Cajun in Keller, Texas, and Penn Hotel Sports & Raw Bar in Hershey, Pa. — accused the government of “actively and invidiously discriminating against American citizens solely based upon their race and sex.” Judge Reed O’Connor ruled against the agency on May 28, ordering it to evaluate the plaintiffs’ claims “in accordance with a race-neutral, sex-neutral ‘first come, first served’ policy.”

I’m proud to see my former students standing up against racism.

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