On Saturday, a panel of federal judges issued an injunction against an Atlanta-based venture fund, forbidding it from handing out $20,000 grants specifically intended for black female recipients.
According to the Daily Caller, the grant program launched by Fearless Fund claims to be an effort to support businesses that are owned by black women, distributing grants, mentorship programs, and business support services.
A previous ruling by Judge Thomas Thrash determined that the program could continue, with Thrash saying that complaints about the fund’s race- and gender-based grants were a First Amendment matter of Free Speech. But a subsequent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ultimately saw the panel rule by a 2-1 margin against the program, issuing a temporary injunction.
On the panel, Trump-appointed judges Robert Luck and Andrew Brasher voted in favor of the injunction, while Clinton appointee Charles Wilson voted against the injunction.
The court’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed against Fearless Fund by the American Alliance for Equal Rights, a conservative nonprofit, in August. The lawsuit claims that Fearless Fund’s black- and female-only grant program is a violation of the 1866 Civil Rights Act’s “guarantee of race neutrality,” and is thus discriminatory against individuals who are not of the organization’s preferred race or gender.
The case against Fearless Fund is just one of many legal challenges in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s historic decision earlier this year to overturn affirmative action, ruling in two separate cases that the practice of admitting students to colleges based purely on their race was unconstitutional. While the ruling was meant primarily for colleges and universities, numerous subsequent lawsuits have gone after companies, organizations, and other entities that engage in similar practices.