While it seems that Donald Trump has far too easy a time getting away with literal murder, at least it’s good to learn that not every judge in this country has lost their mind when it comes to the dictator and his plans to target the country’s most vulnerable. As the coronavirus invades over two dozen states, one judge noticed a chance to help out the poor by blocking a Trump attempt to cut food stamps amidst the outbreak.
D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell granted an injunction that effectively halts Trump’s new SNAP rule that experts say would kick around 700,000 Americans off of the aid they rely on to live.
Millions rely on SNAP to eat & this ruling is a huge victory for our entire nation.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) March 14, 2020
Howell said this about his ruling:
“Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential.”
“Although the hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals who stand to lose their benefits had little direct voice in that rulemaking process, the process exists to protect them and ensure that the agency cannot terminate their benefits arbitrarily.”
BREAKING: A federal judge has just blocked the Trump Administration's attempt to change a rule that would have kicked nearly 700,000 Americans off of food stamps, in a case brought by Legal Aid, @AGKarlRacine, @NewYorkStateAG, @XavierBecerra and a dozen other state AGs!
— LegalAidDC (@LegalAidDC) March 14, 2020
Fourteen states had already banded together to fight the move that would leave people struggling to eat every day. The group filed a complaint explaining the damage the new rule would cause. The document reads:
“The waivers that the Rule curtails are critical to ensuring access to food for low-income people who live in areas with limited employment opportunities. If implemented, the Rule will have a drastic impact on Plaintiffs and their residents by depriving between 688,000 and 850,000 vulnerable Americans of much-needed nutritional assistance.”
Judge Beryl Howell writes that during this global pandemic, “…guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like #SNAP, is essential.”
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) March 14, 2020
According to Huffington Post:
Democrats have repeatedly asked the Trump administration to postpone the rule in light of the coronavirus outbreak, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said no.
The stalled food benefit cut is just one of a plethora of Trump initiatives to stymie enrollment in social programs that help people survive with limited labor market income. It’s the first of three major SNAP cuts; two others are still pending.
The policy would have targeted non-elderly adults without children or disabilities, who comprise about 7% of the 35 million Americans who receive SNAP benefits each month. The USDA claimed states were improperly waiving so-called “work requirements” that limit benefits to able-bodied adults to just three months. The regulation would have limited state waiver authority to times when the state unemployment rate is higher than 6%.