President Biden’s administration will request the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve its ill-fated program to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt.
The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to block previous rulings out of Texas and Missouri that ruled the program unconstitutional.
The Justice Department is claiming that stalling the program could put Americans in financial difficulty, as payments on student loans are expected to resume in January after years of a pandemic-related grace period.
A federal judge in Texas struck down the White House’s student loan handout last week, ruling in a case brought by the Job Creators Network Foundation. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, argues that the plaintiffs were denied due process under the Administrative Procedure Act to object to the move during a comment period.
“Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine. Still, no one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States,” United States District Judge Mark Pittman wrote Nov. 10.
Biden’s plan, which aims to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients in college and up to $10,000 for others who borrowed using federal student loans, is set to cost taxpayers over $400 billion. Since the administration’s announcement, a handful of legal challenges have been filed in courts across the nation, as states and advocacy groups work to halt Biden’s plan.
Missouri led Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Carolina in filing a lawsuit to challenge the program, claiming that the Department of Education lacks the authority to cancel debt to this degree.
The program’s constitutionality has been questioned from the outset with Republicans pointing to the unprecedented power the move would allot to the executive branch.
Fox New’s Kelly Laco and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.