Farmer Mac Risk-Based Capital - Ver. 5.0 - ANPRM, Proposed & Final
June 20, 2011
To whom it may concern:
We would like to comment on last Thursday’s Federal Register notice (June 16, 2011, Volume 76, Number 116, Pages 35138-35141, DOCID:fr16jn11-14) re “FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION // 12 CFR Part 652 // RIN 3052-AC70 // Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Risk-Based Capital Stress Test, Version 5.0 // AGENCY: Farm Credit Administration // ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.”
The notice says that you are seeking public input on how to place greater emphasis on “diversity and inclusion,” both respect to Farmer Mac’s personnel and with respect to relevant “borrowers and lenders”; in particular, we are concerned about the reference here to women and minorities.
As you may know, it is generally illegal for the government to show favoritism or even use classifications based on race, ethnicity, or sex. See Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200, 227 (1995) (“all racial classifications … must be analyzed by a reviewing court under strict scrutiny”); Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718 (1982) (gender classifications require an "exceedingly persuasive justification"). Indeed, such classifications and favoritism are “presumptively invalid” (see Personnel Administrator v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256 (1979)). This applies not only to programs run by the federal government but also to programs funded by it. See, e.g., Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000d. What’s more, discrimination and preference on the basis of race, ethnicity, and sex in federal employment is explicitly barred by Title VII of that Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.
Accordingly, we oppose any “diversity and inclusion” program that focuses on increasing the number of this or that racial or ethnic or gender group; instead, the focus should be on the widespread dissemination of information about opportunities to ALL those potentially interested and nondiscrimination against ANY racial or ethnic or gender group. It is an especially bad idea, on the other hand, to “set quantitative goals” as described in Question 15 of Section III of this ANPRM; such goals inevitably become quotas, and quotas inevitably lead to discrimination and preferential treatment.