Trump-appointed judge cites Pelosi in striking down Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News November 11, 2022

A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ruled that Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is unlawful.

Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 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.

In his ruling, Judge Pittman quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the president “does not” have “the power for debt forgiveness,” and noted that it must be accomplished through an act of Congress.

The plaintiff-borrowers argued that Team Biden violated federal law by denying borrowers an opportunity to provide public comment before the executive order that created the program.

Judge Pittman stated in his ruling:

“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.”

Following the ruling, the Biden administration stopped accepting applications for federal student loan forgiveness.

“For the 26 million borrowers who have already given the Department of Education the necessary information to be considered for debt relief – 16 million of whom have already been approved for relief – the Department will hold onto their information so it can quickly process their relief once we prevail in court,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement Thursday.

The Department of Justice immediately appealed Pittman’s decision on the Department of Education’s behalf, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced.

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.”

Parker added: “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.

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