Biden's student loan handout suffers another legal defeat

 December 2, 2022

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just dealt President Joe Biden's student loan handout another legal blow. 

The court, according to Fox News, denied Biden's request to allow him to proceed with the handout while it continues to be litigated in the courts.


Biden, here, is trying to unilaterally - through executive action alone - cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower, or up to $20,000 if the borrower is a Pell Grant recipient.

To qualify, the borrower must be making less than $125,000 per year if single or less than $250,000 per year if married.

The handout - which is estimated to cost over $400 billion - is facing multiple legal challenges. But, they all center around one key question: "does Biden have the authority, as the U.S. president, to unilaterally cancel federal student loan debt in this manner?"

There are two main lawsuits here. One is being led by several Republican states. The last decision came from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which blocked the handout from being implemented, while its legality continues to be litigated.

The other case - the one referred to at the start of this article - that is now before the 5th Circuit - was previously at a U.S. District Court in Texas.

"One of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority"

In mid-November, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman ruled against the handout.

He wrote:

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.

Pittman, as a remedy, placed a stay on Biden's loan handout, stopping it from going into effect. This is how the case made it to the 5th Circuit. Biden asked the 5th Circuit to lift the stay implemented by Pittman.

The 5th Circuit, though, has denied Biden's request. The court also expedited the oral arguments in the case.

Looking forward

Experts don't expect Biden to have too much success before the 5th Circuit.

The Biden administration, in fact, has already stated that it will petition the U.S. Supreme Court should the 5th Circuit rule against it.

In the meantime, Biden appears to be trying to mitigate his losses and appease federal student loan holders by extending the student loan payment pause through June 2023, after previously stating that he would not do so.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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