A federal judge in Texas on Thursday declared President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program unlawful, dealing another blow to the Biden administration’s attempted wealth transfer.
President Donald Trump appointee Judge Mark Pittman ruled in favor of the conservative advocacy group Job Creators Network, which brought suit on behalf of two student loan borrowers. One of the borrowers was ineligible for Biden’s loan forgiveness program, and the other did not qualify for the entire $20,000 forgiveness.
The plaintiff-borrowers argued Biden’s administration violated federal law by denying borrowers an opportunity to provide public comment before rolling out the program.
As Judge Pittman plainly stated:
The Constitution vests “all legislative powers” in Congress. This power, however, can be delegated to the executive branch. But if the executive branch seeks to use that delegated power to create a law of vast economic and political significance, it must have clear congressional authorization. If not, the executive branch unconstitutionally exercises “legislative powers” vested in Congress. In this case, the HEROES Act— a law to provide loan assistance to military personnel defending our nation—does not provide the executive branch clear congressional authorization to create a $400 billion student loan forgiveness program.
Pittman noted that under former President Donald Trump’s administration, the U.S. Department of Education mulled the idea of using the HEROES Act to provide student debt relief amid the coronavirus pandemic but ultimately concluded it did not have the legal authority to do so.
Pittman, in his order, quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who said the president “does not” have “the power for debt forgiveness,” and noted that it must be accomplished through an act of Congress.
Biden’s decision to transfer student debt to taxpayers is likely an inflationary, expensive mistake that will leave “American taxpayers footing the bill,” the Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote. https://t.co/BB5T1YuORr
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 26, 2022
Job Creators Network president Elaine Parker said the ruling “protects the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government.”
This attempted illegal student loan bailout would have done nothing to address the root cause of unaffordable tuition: greedy and bloated colleges that raise tuition far more than inflation year after year while sitting on $700 billion in endowments. We hope that the court’s decision today will lay the groundwork for real solutions to the student loan crisis.
Pittman’s decision comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an administrative stay to block the program following a Nebraska-led lawsuit against the Biden administration.
The U.S. Department of Justice appealed Pittman’s decision on the Department of Education’s behalf, Secretary Miguel Cardona announced.
Cardona said the agency is “disappointed” with the ruling, but pledged to continue “fighting for the millions of hardworking students and borrowers across the country.”
Half of Americans agree that Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt is not fair to those who did not attend college, a poll from The Economist/YouGov found. https://t.co/ZMKnWfAPmb
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 5, 2022
“We are disappointed in the decision of the Texas court to block loan relief moving forward. Amidst efforts to block our debt relief program, we are not standing down,” Cardona said. “The Department of Justice has appealed today’s decision on our behalf, and we will continue to keep borrowers informed about our efforts to deliver targeted relief.”
The case is Brown v. Department of Education, No. 4:22-cv-0908 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.