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A federal appeals court has blocked President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Photo: Anna Moneymaker

Another judge blocks Biden's student loan forgiveness plan

This is the second decision by a federal court to block the student loan forgiveness program in a matter of days

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A federal appeals court has blocked President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program and any hope of more than 26 millions of borrowers who already applied for the relief. 

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a preliminary injunction against President Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt—an estimated total of hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans, at the request of six Republican led states that argued Biden exceeded his presidential authority. 

However, this is the second decision by a federal court to block the student loan forgiveness program in a matter of days—sighting the administration does not have the authority to act on this matter. 

“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,” wrote the judge in the case, Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump as reported by USAToday. “The Program is thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated.”

Although the Department of Education launched a beta test allowing borrowers to apply for federal forgiveness, those applications will not be processed. 

“The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country,” the opinion continues. “But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved. And having interpreted the HEROES Act, the Court holds that it does not provide 'clear congressional authorization' for the Program proposed by the Secretary.”

Despite two court rulings to block the relief, the Biden administration can appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court and even if they choose to proceed, it is unlikely the court’s conservative majority would agree President Biden has the right to act. 

Since the ruling the Department of Education has stopped accepting new applications following the outcome of the Texas case and now solidified by this ruling.


 

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