A Texas federal court has ruled that President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is an “unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power” and must be vacated. According to District Judge Mark Pittman, because Biden failed to follow procedures to allow for public comment, the plan is unlawful. The program, which would cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in debt, was already halted by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals last month.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of two borrowers who do not qualify for the programs benefits, is the latest attack on the program that has faced harsh criticism. In this case, conservative group the Job Creators Network Foundation argued the plan violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to provide a public comment period. The president of the Job Creators Network Foundation said in a statement, “This ruling protects the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government.”
In response to the ruling, the Justice Department stated “we strongly disagree with the District Court’s ruling on our student debt relief program” and indicated it would appeal the decision. The debt relief program has faced many legal challenges since it was announced, with the Supreme Court denying two separate requests to challenge the program. The Biden administration has argued that Congress has the authority to forgive the loan debt pursuant to the HEROES Act of 2003. Payments on federal student loans were stayed in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic, but they are schedule to resume in 2023.