Judge Rejects Challenge to Biden’s Student Loan Cancellations

Judge Rejects Challenge to Biden’s Student Loan Cancellations
One of the challenges to President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness scheme has been thrown out, but the challengers are preparing to appeal the decision.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the Brown County Taxpayers Association doesn’t have standing to sue over the scheme.

“In the absence of standing, Plaintiff’s case must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The court also notes, however, that even if Plaintiff did have standing, it is unclear that the preliminary relief Plaintiff seeks would be appropriate,” Griesbach said in a 5-page decision dismissing the case.

The ruling was entered on Oct. 6. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which is representing the taxpayers association, has since notified the court that it will appeal the ruling.

“This is an extraordinary case based on an extraordinary claim of executive power by the President,” Dan Lennington, a lawyer for the institute, told news outlets in a statement. “This case was always destined to be decided by higher courts, and we will continue the fight to the Court of Appeals and then the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

Other Lawsuits

At least four other suits have been lodged over the scheme, which was announced by Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in September and involves forgiving up to $20,000 in federal student debt for tens of millions of Americans.

Government officials say the scheme is lawful under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 because the COVID-19 pandemic is a national emergency. Challengers say the law is being abused.

Another judge threw out one of the suits. Indiana resident Frank Garrison said he will end up having to pay more if his debt is forgiven due to interest payments, but the Department of Education has clarified that people eligible for relief can opt out of the scheme, U.S. District Judge Richard Young, a Clinton appointee, noted.

Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on Oct. 10, giving new life to the case.

No rulings have been entered in the other cases.

They include one brought by Oregon resident Daniel Laschober, who said the scheme will cause higher mortgage payments because it will lead to more inflation, and one brought by six states, which argued the law is not being applied properly.

Arizona also filed a separate suit, offering similar arguments.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, pointed to how Biden recently declared the pandemic “over” and asserted the administration is using the pandemic as “a useful pretext to adopt policies that would otherwise be incontestably illegal.”

In a rebuttal in one of the cases, government lawyers said the pandemic fit the definition of an emergency because the administration has not rescinded the emergency declaration first declared under President Donald Trump.

The forgiveness scheme “is authorized by the HEROES Act,” the lawyers said.

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