“Not Ruled by an All-Powerful Executive”: Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional

We have previously discussed how the Administration stretched the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) to the breaking point as the basis for waiving roughly half a trillion dollars in debt owed to the public in college loans. Now, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas has issued an opinion declaring that President Joe Biden violated the Constitution in unilaterally forgiving the debt before the midterm election. Judge Pittman wrote “[i]n this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone.” It was former President Barack Obama who defied Congress with unilateral actions and declared that he would go it alone if needed because “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”

President Biden took the same course when it was clear that the loan forgiveness program would not pass Congress. Biden simply announced that he would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually; those who received Pell grants could receive up to $20,000 in relief; couples can qualify despite a joint annual income of $250,000. No vote of Congress — just hundreds of billions of dollars written off by Biden, as if he is an American tsar.

Judge Pittman held that “it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved.”

I previously criticized the legal basis for the loan forgiveness program. The Biden Administration has largely counted on blocking anyone from getting to the merits by challenging the standing of anyone to sue over the giveaway. On the merits, the Biden Administration’s position is transparently opportunistic in my view.

As the acronym indicates, this short bill was designed for military personnel who often found themselves in arrears while serving abroad. It allows the Education Secretary to grant student loan relief during a war, military operation or national emergency. But nothing in the barely five-page act supports a sweeping and unprecedented waiver of billions of dollars in loans owed to the government.

Even for the military personnel intended to benefit from this program, the law only allowed waivers or modifications to guarantee that they were not “placed in a worse position financially in relation to that financial assistance because of their status as affected individuals.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department will appeal the verdict. They could prevail on the appellate level but could likely face a skeptical Supreme Court. That could again create lasting and damaging precedent.

The Biden administration has racked up an impressive litany of losses in court, including many decisions finding that the administration has engaged in racial discrimination or simply exceeded Biden’s constitutional authority.

92 thoughts on ““Not Ruled by an All-Powerful Executive”: Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional”

    1. I think so. Pittman darted straight to separation of powers on such a vast econmic political rule without a bill…specific law…and was ticked at the oral hearing that the govt insinuated that no body had standing! He probably saw that usurpation as one that needs checked and is impossible to check without a judiciary. A judiciary Protecting its roll and not devolving to chevron cheerleaders. So separation of powers. Is the law of the case. And for that plaintiffs had enough procedural. And substantive harm. And I’ll add he mentioned the doe said “everyone” was an affected individual….so that really begs. If everyone in America is an “affected” individual then 2 pages of the 5 page law are rendered surplurflous! He never got into the statutory construction….but to me…if everyone is an. “affected individual”..and not everyone is a tax “payer” let alone voter then for sure the secretary never really got such powers delegated. Especially since the disaster area only need declared by a “local” official. Hypothetically someone under Newsome could declare a disaster…and the Fed secretary could forgive their local but federally backed student loan. I don’t think so. I think even then other states would have standing too.that’s how much 20 usc 1070 needs statstory interpretation.


    This guy calls himself a jurist?

    Not only may the executive branch not tax for and/or fund any program, Congress may not tax for student loans.

    Congress has the power to tax, Article 1, Section 8, and Congress may only tax for debt, defense and infrastructure (general [all or the whole] welfare).

    Not only is forgiveness of student debt unconstitutional, the provision of student loans is unconstitutional.

    This evidently capable “jurist” and the Supreme Court must move on in the realm of education and decide that the Department of Education has absolutely NO constitutional basis and is entirely invalid, illegitimate and unconstitutional.

    Lest we forget, the entire American welfare state has no constitutional basis and is irrefutably unconstitutional.

    Let’s get fundamental, folks!

      1. Abortion was “water…under the bridge” for 50 —-ing years, oh, ye of great strength of mind.

        The Supreme Court has the power of timeless Judicial Review.

        In Dobbs, the Supreme Court proved it can and did, absolutely and undeniably, act 50 years retroactively to implement the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution.

        Employing the doctrine of timeless Judicial Review, the Supreme Court must now act as many as 150 years retroactively to assure the implementation of and adherence to the Constitution.

        Anything less is a failure to fulfill its sworn-oath duty to support the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution, and actionable and impeachable dereliction.

  2. Two interesting choices the judge made: (1) to make the pen and phone comment in the opinion and (2) not to footnote Obama for his related and well known pen and phone comment.

  3. Jonathan: The mid-terms have not yet been decided but it looks like we may face a divided government–again. But one thing is clear. It was a disaster for Trump and the candidates he backed. Rupert Murdock’s publicans were brutal. The NY Post had this headline: “Trumpty Dumpty”…”Don (who couldn’t build a wall) had a great fall…”. The WSJ headline blared: “Trump is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser”. Fox News put it this way: “Ron DeSantis is the new Republican Party Leader”. It looks like Rupert is putting Trump in his rear view mirror. Not a good sign for Trump and his MAGA supporters.

    For those MAGA supporters on this blog I hate to gloat (not really) but I warned you sometime ago about tying yourselves to the Trump brand. So I have a Q for you. Is Ron DeSantis your new leader or will you find another savior? Or, will you continue to follow an unelected election denying narcissist? Just wondering.

    1. RE:”The mid-terms have not yet been decided..” McIntyre…your idle ramblings continue to be so predictably tiresome.

    2. I, for one, wonder what it takes to convince die-hard Trump fans to realize that the majority of Americans do not and never will, support him. He lost the popular vote in 2016, but found a way around the will of the American people via help from Russian hackers. He lost the whole Monty in 2020, which he will never stop lying about, and now, his influence has deterred what many predicted would be a “red wave”. That cannot realistically be denied, and many prominent Republicans have said as much. This is the third strike–isn’t that enough for you? In recent history, the sitting POTUS has usually lost seats in Congress in the midterms, sometimes dramatically, and while a Biden may lose a few seats, it won’t be the wash-out Republicans predicted. The reason is Trump–why can’t you see how toxic he is? Why wasn’t the Big Lie, which led to the insurrection, enough for you? I mean–what does it take–or are you going to follow Trump’s lead and scream “fraud” every time an election doesn’t go your way instead of taking a hard look at the root cause?

      1. My pet parrot has more original thoughts than you do. Honestly are you only capable of repeating talking points? Want a cracker?

    3. The GOP field is wide open, baby. We got Trump and who ever else wants to jump in the primary and slug it out. We are where the excitement is at. Y’all just jealous.

    4. Media is one way biased. Absolutely zero journalistic integrity. Thanks for showing you’re a good consumer and lacking in any ability to think for yourself.

  4. Jonathan: You are applauding the decision by Judge Pittman to overturn Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Not unexpected since you apparently see your role as challenging ever decision by a Democratic president. And who is Judge Mark Pittman? You don’t mention he is a Trump appointee and selected by the conservative Federalist Society that chose all of Trump’s appointees. In fact Pittman is a former vice-president and founding member of the Forth Worth Chapter of of FS.

    Trump selected his judicial appointees expecting them to rubber stamp all his decisions made with “pen and a phone”. So it is understandable Pittman would now rule that Biden somehow violated the Constitution. When Congress refused to provide funding for Trump’s “big beautiful wall” along the Texas border the Trumpster simply by-passed Congress with his “phone and a pen” by taking money from the Pentagon budget. Trump also used his phone to try get Georgia election officials to overturn the election–a violation of both state and federal law. And he used the phone to try to extort the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Trump got impeached for that action. Did you say Trump had exceeded his “constitutional authority” in any of those actions? Nope.

    As an adherent of the originalist and textualist interpretation of the Constitution, and a Trump appointee, do you think Pittman would have overturned any of Trump’s actions in the cases cited above? For you and Pittman when Trump did it it was OK. When a Democratic president does it it must be constitutional overreach. It is quite apparent Pittman’s decision was political, one not based on the Constitution. We’ll have to see what the 5th Circuit does with the case. But students and former students saddled with loans they cannot repay, they will remember Judge Pittman’s decision and the GOP position when they vote in 2024. Talk about Republicans shooting themselves in the foot!

    1. The ruling was the President can’t do this and the reasoning used was faulty. A very straightforward ruling. Trump will not be President again, and there was plenty to criticize, but judges that defend the Constitution will be a lasting legacy that he can rightly be proud to own.

    2. Dennis McIntyre.. as usual, you craft all of your arguments to be about Trump.. THIS isn’t about Trump. THIS isn’t even about Pittman. It’s about Biden acting like a Dictator, turning his nose up at Congress and unilaterally costing our Govt. $Billions in legally owed monies so he could buy those votes. I won’t get into all the other flagrant and reckless unilateral decisions he made with OUR money.. like giving away $Billions in Military property to the Taliban, where it would surely fall into every conceivable enemy’s hands…. Are you that infatuated with doting on Trump that you can’t see this behaviour of Biden’s…? Prof. Turley nailed it.

    3. Dennis: well done. Turley’s assignment today was to find something, anything to criticize Joe Biden for in the aftermath of the poor showing by Republicans in the midterms, so he comes up with this. There is a large body of writing about student loans that explains how they compound interest and late fees, adding these extras to the pincipal balance,so that the bloated new balance accrues additional interest and late fees. The interest rates are on these loans are far above prime and are bundled and sold almost as soon as the ink is dry (or the e-signature is received). That means that the holder of the loan didn’t help the student get an education–it’s just an investment to them. Compounding of interest and late fees explains how a $2,000 loan can become $20,000 in a few short years, or even how a late fee a student didn’t know about can balloon into thousands of dollars. Former students move around all of the time, get married, change their name, so the debt sits there until some loan buyer finds then and goes after them. Students can find it hard to prove that they did make a payment on time, in order to challenge the added late fees because they don’t keep banking statements going back several years. Oftentimes, a student thought the loan was paid off, only to discover that a collection agency or loan purchaser has notified the IRS and has taken their tax refund. The gist of these articles is that the majority of large balances on guaranteed student loans is due to compounded interest and late fees, which causes the principal amount to balloon to remarkable levels. Such loans are next to impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, and whoever bought the loan can simply fill out a form, send it to the IRS and confiscate any refund. The confiscated funds are only applied to current interest and late fees–not to the principal balance which keeps growing, which explains why some former students can never get out of debt, buy a house, a new car, or take a good vacation. Another point is that in a substantial number of cases, the principal balance has actually been paid back–the remaining balance is compounded interest and late fees. The worst thing of all is those people who went to unaccredited schools that have closed down and who took out loans to pay for tuition. They were unaware that the lack of accreditation means that any credits they got cannot be transferred to accredited schools and that lack of accreditation means they cannot get a license. For instance, people who went to unaccredited schools to pursue nursing can never sit for boards or get an RN or LPN license because the school was not accredited. Some of these places closed down in the middle of the term, but the loans still had to be repaid. President Obama tried to get these loans forgiven, but Betsy DeVos, appointed by Trump, opposed it. The bottom line is that forgiving a portion of these loans is not the “free ride” Republicans claim it is.

      1. Seize the endowments. All of this should be on the colleges to solve. Don’t go to college. Learn a trade. These schools are the cause of the problem; they need to stop extorting students and fix it, not screw over taxpayers.

        1. A university like Harvard has an endowment that is something like $35 billion. Some of the alumni have suggested that the tuition be free. If a student comes from a family that is well healed, let the family make a hefty contribution to the endowment fund.

      2. Gigi: You are a breath of fresh air on this blog. Thx for explaining how the student loan programs actually works and how student borrowers are being fleeced by greedy loan companies. It’s a disgrace but of no concern to Professor Turley or Judge Pittman. Personally, I think a college education should be free for those who qualify. But you won’t hear that from Turley or many on this blog because they think that would be a “free ride”. Investing in the education of the future generation is not on their radar. But they will support giving generous tax breaks to billionaires without batting an eye! If that’s not a “free ride” I don’t know what is! You will always have my back so keep up the good work.

        1. Do you think the regular working guy who never went to college should pay for the one who does and thereby earns a higher salary than he would otherwise have earned?

          I like how you want to push money from the have-nots to the haves.

          If someone is fleecing those students it is the universities.

          1. S. Meyer/Sam: Are either of you on Social Security? I am and have been for years. Of course, I paid into the system for over 65 years. And if you are still working you are doing the same. During our working lives we contribute to SS because it’s part of the social contract–our commitment to keep the elderly out of poverty. In a sense it is taking money from the “haves” and giving it to the “have-nots” (or vice versa)–especially since I no longer pay into the system. Would you take away SS as the GOP proposes?

            When it comes to education I think every “regular working guy”, or gal, would like to go to college but, because of economic circumstances, can’t afford it. Even if you have the grades you have to work to support the family. It’s a dilemma because today without a college education you have little prospect of enjoying a “middle class” life style. There are a lot of young people who are smart and could make significant contributions to society but because a college education costs a lot of money we will never benefit from their talents. But its these talents we especially need today in an ever competitive world. That’s why I support a free university education for all those who qualify. In many countries university is practically free, e,g,, Denmark, Finland , Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We are much richer than those countries. The Pentagon budget alone is $770 billion. That’s money that goes from the “have-nots” (us) into the pockets of “haves” (defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman). Don’t hear you complaining about that!

            There is a lot of resentment in this country. Guys like you who resent others getting benefits to which you think you are entitled. It’s called “class envy”. Trump stoked this rage by falsely claiming immigrants are taking “your” jobs and even getting into our universities. Your resentment is misplaced. You should be asking the Q: Should we still be giving money to a bloated military establishment or should be investing in our youth and their educations? Whatever your views on the need for such a large military establishment isn’t this country rich enough to also give every qualifying student the right to an education?

            1. ” Are either of you on Social Security?”

              Dennis, you changed the subject from college loans to social security. Do you know that? Nevertheless, I will engage SS.

              If you are talking about the social contract and feel that paying off social security is a must, I won’t disagree. The GOP does not have the desire to take away your social security benefits.

              You view this contract as a strict contract, so we agree. Should people who saved more be penalized by that choice by having a portion of the social security taxed? You have to reckon with that question if you wish to be consistent.

              “without a college education you have little prospect of enjoying a “middle class” life style. “

              That is not true, but I won’t deal with that error presently.

              If a person benefits financially from a college education, why shouldn’t he repay his loan and give a bit more so that others can benefit as well? Why do you wish to train them to be selfish instead of generous?

              Why do you think college costs are so expensive? If you corrected those problems, the costs wouldn’t be so unbearable.

              Why should a student get a degree that doesn’t help to provide him with future income? Should a student be subsidized to get a degree in basket weaving? Where does a person get most of his income-producing talents? From the classroom or life experience, including books? You tell me.

              Who will earn more? A lazy educated person who doesn’t wish to think or learn, or a person with drive and good work habits?

              You say you live off social security. I am sure you have other savings, but social security wasn’t legislated as an insurance policy to live on. It was, at best, a safety net and a supplement to people who saved. Look at the lifespan at the time social security was created. If you are 70 and playing tennis at the local country club, should the young be supporting your lifestyle?

              You mention a lot of nations that provide things you like. They are taxed more directly, and indirectly by a slower-growing economy. Would you have been willing to dedicate a larger share of your income when you were working to pay for those things?

              ” Guys like you who resent others getting benefits to which you think you are entitled.”

              Really? What benefits did I get? What benefits did my wife get? We lived in a slum and couldn’t afford a TV set. Where do you get this material? From today’s SNL which is no longer funny?

              “Trump stoked this rage by falsely claiming immigrants are taking “your” jobs”

              I am from a family of immigrants, and my wife is an immigrant. That tells us you don’t know anything about the people you converse with on the blog. You are regurgitating leftist doctrine and not looking at the world around you.

              What do you know about immigration? What I know tells me the nation needs immigrants, but not illegal ones. Why do you want illegal immigration that comes with drugs, disease, prostitution, crime, and everything else? Why are you helping to destroy Mexico? Yes, I said Mexico.

              “Should we still be giving money to a bloated military establishment or should be investing in our youth and their educations?”

              Defense is why the 13 states accepted the Constitution, so don’t act so high and mighty about wanting to spend less on defense. The Constitution doesn’t talk about spending money on education. That was left to the states. Yes, I believe education is important, and children graduating from HS should be reasonably educated. Why aren’t they with all the money poured in?

              I will go back to the subject of charter schools which are important for the education of children in NYC. Those schools have educated children that would have come out as failures in the public schools. Why does the left want to prevent those schools from expanding and teaching those youth in the inner cities? Start there Dennis, is a leftist ideology more important than educating black and Latino children? I’ll answer for you. The left discriminates against black and Latino students.

        2. “I think a college education should be free for those who qualify.”

          I heard the following story about a *child’s* attitude toward the creation of material values (e.g., wealth):

          When I was a child, I would open my dresser drawer, and clean socks were just there. It never occurred to me to ask the question: How did they get there? Imagine my surprise when, some years later, I learned that my mother’s work and effort made those socks possible.

          1. Sam, that is a good lesson. Do you think Dennis has a mother that provides him with clean socks and the rest of his needs? I don’t think he understands the excellent point you made.

      3. “[F]orgiving a portion of these loans is not the “free ride” Republicans claim it is.”

        You’re right. It’s not “free.” It’s paid for by those who did *not* incur the debt. It’s a textbook, socialist redistribution scheme.

    4. Why does everything have to involve Trump? You may not have noticed but he is no longer POTUS and why do you celebrate putting your debt obligation to a third party. Sounds dishonorable to me!

    5. . Not unexpected since you apparently see your role as challenging ever decision by a Democratic president.

      Not unexpected, but McIntyre, is so stupid he has yet to grasp the difference between disagreeing with a politician, and laying out the facts explaining how Biden’s handing out free money, is a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. The good Prof does not enter into the personalities of the actors. Just their actions, as the actions concern the Constitution, and rule of law.

      This just shows McIntyre is the one using personal attacks, and ignoring the topic.

  5. When judges ruled some of Obama’s executive orders unconstitutional, Republicans cheered. Charles Krauthammer said, “Republicans will rue these actions by judges when they take the presidency.” He proved prophetic when judges ruled some of Trump’s executive orders unconstitutional. We should all cheer judges who try to put some kind of check on executive orders, no matter what the issue, and no matter what the party. Personally, I think the Supreme Court should reexamine the parameters and scope of executive orders and severely limit them to try to limit the ever-growing powers of the executive branch. While they’re at it, they should reexamine the powers of cabinets. For most of my life, Congress (the most direct representative body) has been abdicating its powers and surrendering them to anyone who will take the weight off them. Will this lead to delays from a “do nothing Congress”? Yes, and they will either resume their Constitutionally assigned role, or they will do nothing. I consider that a win-win either way.

    1. Personally, I think the Supreme Court should reexamine the parameters and scope of executive orders…

      Why SCOTUS?

      Congress has more power than SCOTUS. Congress is the one being harmed, but congress refuses to do anything. If congress doesn’t care, SCOTUS should stay out of it.

  6. Judge Pittman is such a credit to his profession and to Texas. So impressive. I tell ya, they raise ’em right in West Texas, especially Big Spring.
    I’d love for Senator Sissy Schumer to travel to West Texas, stand on any street corner and badmouth “MAGAS” to passers-by. Oh my, that’d be so much fun to watch. Senator Sissy, most certainly, would return to D.C. on a gurney.
    The irony of the MAGA “ire” is that MAGA-in-chief, Pres. Trump, bankrolled Chuck’s Senate campaign back in the day.
    As they say, if it weren’t for the double standard, Democrats wouldn’t have any standards at all.

  7. The debt is held by the students, first, and the institutions (e.g. government), second. The order is reversed if the latter lied or misrepresented the fitness of their product. thereby defrauding the students, then Biden doubles down to defraud the public.

  8. Biden learned from George W. Bush’s “Preemption Doctrine” that violated Ronald Reagan’s torture treaty and overturned more than 200 years of American history.

    Biden was overruled in mere months, more than 20 years later nobody has been held accountable for Bush’s law breaking and disloyalty to his Oath of Office.

    1. And Obama is still celebrated for his signature breaches of civil and human rights. No justice. Only social justice.

  9. Doesn’t the House of Representatives control the money? Generally only dictators try to do what Biden wants to do.

  10. Unfortunately this gambit was the only thing that Biden has gotten right in 2 years. He played the young idiots like the unknowing fools that they are, got their votes while knowing it would get overturned.

    Now the young idiots that voted for Democrats en masse will be the first to get laid off when the recession hits, will continue to pay 2-3 thousand a month for rent or remain in the basement of their parents houses, will be the least able to handle the high cost of everything and will still have to pay off their loans. THEY DESERVE IT for voting for this loser’s party.

    If my comment seems harsh it is because I am sick and tired of Biden’s WH and DOJ playing vicious hardball and becoming the fascists they pretend to warn us about. SWAT teams after everyone on the right, ignoring crimes on the left. Now they are going after Musk after Twitter and Facebook basically through the last election to them.

    1. I am honestly surprised that democrats who are increasingly shrill, increasingly out of touch, increasingly owned by the far left, still manage to have any power.
      But I am cheered by the FACT that this can not continue forever.

      As Lincoln said
      You can fool some of the people all of the time
      All of the people some of the time
      But you can not fool all the people all of the time.

      People learn – even left wing nuts.

      The learn through logic, reason, facts.
      They learn through history.

      If those do not work, they learn through failure.
      The problem with the latter is that failure harms those of us who do not need wapped upside the head as well as those who do.

      We have several bad years coming. This was inevitable regardless of how the election went.

      Voters want the economy and inflation fixed. Those are problems that can not be fixed overnight or in a couple of months.
      Inflation is slowing. It will take a long time to get back to norms.

      The economy CAN NOT recover until significantly after inflation is brought under control.
      The Fed is reducing inflation by putting the brakes on the economy.
      That is the only tool available to do so.

      To the extent that congress and the president have any power in this, that would be to reduce Government spending
      which will reduce inflationary pressures faster and which will leave significantly more breathing space for the rest of the economy – if government shrinks the rest of the economy can grow a bit without inflation.

      None of that is going to happen.
      The best we can hope for is an end to reckless spending increases.

      Government deficits are always a problem. They are always a drag on the economy. They are a worse problem the larger the total government debt. We have lots of good economics and data to back it up that the economy weakens, that standard of living rises more slowly or even falls the bigger the government or the higher the debt.

      Further the Fed has reduced its monetization of deficits – that is what is driving inflation.
      Ultimately that means government is actually going to have to borrow from real lenders – not the Fed, and that it is going to have to pay market interest rates – rather than the affordable low rates the fed is offering. All new debt will be financed at much higher rates.
      All debt that comes up for refinancing – will have much higher rates.
      This rising cost of debt will come about slowly – but it is inevitable, and it will last will into any recovery.

      Put simply, the mess we have now is not ending anytime soon.

      Nor is this a US specific problem. This is global, and as bad as it is here it will be worse throughout the rest of the world.

      Global economic problems coincide with increases in global violence, political unrest and wars.

      We can expect a significant increase in conflicts and war throughout the world.

      All this is the consequence of a short lived easy money sugar high we gave ourselves during the pandemic.

  11. As long as the funds remain in the people’s coffers until the legal process has been exhausted, that’s all that matters.

  12. Sounds to me like we are slowly relearning the constitution. Hope it stands all the way through. I won’t place all the blame on Biden. He is just parroting Obama as you mentioned. Obama was a little more restrained and I can’t say that about Biden. Joe “if he had a brain-alluding to the Wizard of Oz” Biden might think about getting some more divergent opinions before he uses the “Pen”. Most of the time on major problems or threat analysis you have “best case”, “worst case”, and “middle case”. He might consider using that more often and he might suffer less defeats that result, as the professor said, in damaging defeats and precedent. Trump had a tendency to not learn from reverses and Biden seems no better.
    The two best attorneys I ever worked with had the same mindset and always had their best, middle and worst case scenarios worked out and with all their responses ready for each scenario. Fascinating to watch them work

    1. He might consider using that more often and he might suffer less defeats that result,

      We all see these as a loss. But Democrats know their supporters are stupid. So while the courts strike this down, Democrats running for office will look their voters in the eye and tell them Democrats in office are responsible for loan relief, even though it never happened. Biden does this almost every time he speaks. Makes claims that are total lies….but Dem voters still believe. Hell, dem voters elected a cognitively damaged man to the senate, and a dead man to the House. McCarthy is so spineless, I’m betting he’ll let the dead man vote in the House for two years.

  13. A large clarification that people tend to ignore. The $125,000 income level applies to either 2020 or 2021. if you earned less then $125,000 in either of those years, you qualify for firgiveness. If I made $500,000 in 2019, 2020 and 2022, but only $120,000 in 2021, guess what? I qualify for loan forgiveness.

  14. Monument sees it straight!

    Vote buying by the Democrats….thumbing their nose at the Constitution….and getting away with it.

    Now…if the Republicans do it right….they can use the power of the Constitution to put a permanent brand on the Democrats collective Foreheads!

    Use the Congressional Power that the Democrats did…. but do so to put right the misconduct of the Democrats and do so using the Law, Constitution, and Congressional Tools, Rules, and public opinion.

    1. Bannon adds: “$1 trillion vote buying scam for dead-beat woke college grads where the burden falls on hard working American taxpayers to actually pay the debt …ruled ‘unconstitutional’ by Federal Judge”

      Surprise! Joe Biden lied to you. He could not care less because he got what he wanted. Two days after the election a judge stops it. How is it all you “suckas” keep falling for Democrat okee doke?

      1. RE:”Two days after the election a judge stops it…”Suckas”?!?!? With two years to go under a Republican House majority after the holiday intermission. The fat lady may yet sing “Gotterdammerung” in November 2 years hence.;

  15. Let me guess. Lawrence Tribe of eviction moratorium fame advised Joe that the loan forgiveness, would pass muster. ( I don’t have any first- hand knowledge, but it fits the pattern).
    Don’t know why a student loan, which was taken on with full knowledge of repayment implications, would be any different than any other loan. Why should the taxpayers relieve a student of a debt? Because the student got a useless degree?

  16. BIDEN ADMIN. listened to the Left Wing Socialist, such Warren and Sanders. His Left Wing Radical Lawyers who keep providing Radical advise and continue to lose in the courts Lose Again and will lose on appeal all the way to the Surpreme COurt, if they are foolish enough to try it. They have to go via Federal Courts which all follow the law and not making it up, believe they have to go thru the 5th Circuit, Louisana then to the Supreme Court. Biden should have worked with Congress, the DEMS has control and worked out something legal and now they will STRIKE OUT???

  17. This was a cynical ploy.

    The judge ruled against Brandon after the election.

    After at least some of the beneficiaries gratefully voted D.

    Brandon got the benefit of his illegal action.

    All the rest is incidental.

      1. I think there is a significant risk that this decision may be overruled, not on substantive but on procedural grounds, namely standing.

        The Judge found standing because (1) the APA notice and comment period was not provided, and (2) this deprived plaintiffs of the right to comment in favour of expanding to them eligibility for debt forgiveness or greater debt forgiveness . One of them had a commercial student loan that is not eligible and the other had a federal loan but not a Pell grant and so was eligible for $10k but not $20k.

        The Judge assumed, for purposes of analysing the standing question, that the notice and comment period requirement applied, so the defendants were deprived of the right to comment. But then in his analysis he went on to conclude that it did not apply, because the program was issued under the Heroes Act and that Act provides for the requirement to be waived by the Secretary, which he did. He then analysed whether, as a substantive matter, the Heroes Act authorised the program in these circumstances and concluded that it did not, invoking the major questions doctrine. He then vacated the program.

        So to find standing the Judge made an assumption that he later showed was unwarranted. Having found standing in this way he then found that the program exceeded the executive’s authority.

        The standing analysis may not survive, even in the 5th Circuit.

        The standing question is different in the case brought by the states that is now before the 8th Circuit.

        It would have been interesting to see Professor Turley’s view of this issue.

        1. @Daniel: Very well reasoned and articulated comments. Sadly, such adjectives cannot apply to a certain set of the regular commenters here. However, when they do, it should rightly be pointed out and celebrated. Even if one were to disagree (not that I do), you have clearly studied on the matter — selah, perhaps? — before voicing your opinion.

          Well done!
          You have won 13,675,894 Interwweb Points!!

          1. Thank you, Hickdead. I hope I am wrong, since in my view the program is plainly unauthorised and thus unconstitutional. Unfortunately, current standing doctrine makes it difficult to get to the substance. I think the 8th Circuit case is a better bet.

            1. If something is unconstitutional – it MUST go.

              If there is a way to stop it that has no standing issues – great.

              If there is not – then standing doctrine is flawed.

        2. Standing is a court created doctrine. It is not in the constitution.
          Courts can change standing doctrine on their own.

          Your example and many others recently – as well as TX SB8’s efforts to game standing point out that current standing doctrine is flawed.

          Standing should never prevent a controversy from being decided by the courts.

          Its First purpose is to attempt to ensure that the parties in the controversy are those most suited to argue their side.

          Its second is to prevent frivolous challenges by those not really involved.

          Regardless if there is an obvious controversey and obvious harm it most ALWAYS be possible for someone to seek redress.

          1. John Say, much of what you wrote is correct, but it is unlikely the doctrine will be changed any time soon. Until it is changed, it is effectively how the court limits itself to Article III cases and controversies. If there were a branch of Congress willing to stand up for itself, the standing issue would be resolved in this matter, since I believe the court has held that each branch of Congress has standing to challenge unauthorised action by the executive in areas within the authority of Congress.

            1. I am going to disagree – specifically because of this case.

              I do not know how the courts find their way “procedurally” to RULING that the the president can unilaterally wipe out 500B in debt to government.

              That is so obviously unconstitutional that it is CERTAIN they will stop it somehow.

              If Standing as it is now – is an insurmountable hurdle – the courts will change standing doctrine.

              Fundimentally standing is just a means to keep the courts from being over run with pointless diddly $hit claims.

              If standing becomes an impediment to legitimate cases and controversies – the rules of standing must be changed – and the courts will do so. \
              Standing is their creation – it is better for courts to fix it than the legislature.

              I had hope that TX SB8 might bring about standing reform. TX SB8 gamed the rules of standing to prevent or preclude constitutional review.

              SCOTUS ducked the issue because they were already directly addressing that constitutional issue in other cases.
              So failing to address the obvious flaws in standing doctrine that TX SB8 exposed had no real cost.

              But SCOTUS should have taken on the issue of gaming the doctrine of standing to impose unconstitutional laws.

              Left wing nut states threatened to game the system in the same way regarding gun laws or other left wing nut pet projects.

              Personally I think SCOTUS must change the rules of standing for facial constitutional challenges.
              There ALWAYS must be someone who can make a facial challenge to the constitutionalty of a law or act.

              We no longer have the rule of law if those in government can act outside the constitution and no one can challenge them.

        3. I’m a little more skeptical of standing failure. I give it a 50/50. After aggregating both preliminary injunction and dismissal motions, Judge Pittman very cleverly made his case for standing by first citing precedent over governmental benefits cases (to defeat Defendants’ denial that not everyone has standing to sue); then meeting Lujan’s three-prong criteria to otherwise establish standing. (The court notes, “But these requirements are relaxed when a plaintiff asserts a deprivation of a procedural right coupled with an associated concrete interest. See Texas v. United States, 809 F.3d 134, 150–51 (5th Cir. 2015)) Once concrete injury was established, the court could address both procedure and substantive issues.
          First, the court dismissed Plaintiffs’ APA “notice” violation claim, finding that the Sec’y has the authority to waive it, but Second, considered the merits of Plaintiffs’ substantive claim of HEROES Act “authority.” He resolves this through major question doctrine, finding that executive cannot act without congressional nod. Even if he fails on appeal, I thought his clever dissection and addressing of the issues was/were clever.
          I only briefly pored over this. Am I missing something: Did I get this wrong? I will humbly accept different conclusions.

          1. Lin, I am still wrestling with Pittman’s standing analysis.

            He bases it on a deprivation of the right to a notice and comment period. Yet he concludes in the substantive part of the analysis that there is no such right. He reaches this conclusion because he says the program was issued under the Heroes Act and that Act allows the Secretary to waive the notice and comment period, which the Secretary did. He then goes on to say that the Act is nonetheless not sufficiently clear or specific under the major questions doctrine to authorise the mass loan forgiveness for which it provides, and so he vacated it.

            Thus, he appears to have premised standing on a right he found did not exist.

            1. Daniel: Ooops, I was writing and posting my 4:45 and 4:53 comments, without realizing you had already responded. However, you clarified for me what your position was, and as you can see, we overlap and agree on much of it. I think, bottom line, we both agree that standing must be established for each separate claim.

          2. (In other words,I might respectfully differ on this:
            “So to find standing the Judge made an assumption that he later showed was unwarranted. Having found standing in this way he then found that the program exceeded the executive’s authority.”
            I don’t believe he made “an assumption.”
            I see it as the judge simply granted preliminary standing according to jurisprudential protocol, i.e.,
            “Brown and Taylor’s inability to obtain the full benefit of debt forgiveness under the Program flows directly from the Program’s eligibility requirements. Thus, Defendants’ procedural error of not providing for a notice-and-comment period—which the Court must assume as true for standing—deprived Plaintiffs of…” (court opinion)

            (I can’t figure out how to mark as “bold” the court’s words, “which the Court must assume as true for standing…,” which is what I wanted to emphasize here…)

            In any event, having thus given them the standing to challenge, the judge then addressed and dismissed their APA “notice” challenge on the procedural merits, then moved on to their second challenge regarding HEROES Act authority.
            am I missing something here?

            1. (but I agree that this then gave the judge his perceived opportunity to jump on/move forward to addressing the merits of claim #2 regarding the HEROES Act authority. If there is any standing issue, I see it as attaching here,-not to the APA notice issue??? OK I’m done here. thanks

              1. Lin, we are indeed talking about exactly the same thing.

                Pittman “assumes,” for purposes of his standing analysis, that there is a notice and comment requirement. Its violation deprives plaintiffs of a right to comment on eligibility standards. This is their concrete injury.

                Having made that assumption for purposes of finding standing, he then gets to the merits and shows that the assumption was wrong — there is no required notice and comment period. So an admittedly flawed assumption was the basis for standing and allowed Pittman to reach the substantive issue of delegated authority and then to vacate the program under the major questions doctrine.

                I don’t know if this clever solution will survive appeal.

      2. RE:” Why did he wait??” I doubt the good old ‘not wanting to influence the outcome of an election gambit. Having not waited, his decision could then be deemed biased and prejudicial by the opposition.

    1. Yes after the election.
      Several other “promises” are coming to slap voters in the face.
      The strategic oil reserve will no longer be used to depress fuel price rises. Mark the date on the fuel charts as the incline steepens.
      Diesel fuel supplies are down to less than 20 days.
      Mississippi river level is at historical lows, throttling fall grain exports.
      The Rail Strike Biden ‘FIXED’, was only a promise Biden got from the unions to not strike until after the elections. At least two unions have already rejected new contract offers.

      Now we are staring at a triple storm.

      Diesel fuel shortages are emanate.freezing Democrats in the homes in the the very blue North East. Rationing at Diesel pumps on the interstates, reducing the delivery of goods by truck

      River, Rail, trucks. All in danger of massive reductions in tons moved. ALL by intentional actions taken by the Democrat Administration.

      1. While you paint a dark picture – I would offer some light.

        The cure for inflation is recession.

        It was complete idiocy for Biden to be constantly claiming – no, no there is no recession.

        AGAIN the cure for inflation IS recession.

        The Fed is deliberately trying to CAUSE a recession.
        They do not use the word, but they are driving interest rates up to get the economy to slow so inflation goes down.

        None of us WANT a recession. But the choice is recession now and an end to inflation – or more inflation and a bigger recession later.

        So we are going to have a recession.

        You are pointing to a long list of bad things that are all part and parcel of a recession.
        Eitehr the bad things you note will happen – or some other bad things will happen.

        We are GOING to have a recession.

        Our ability to avoid that ended when we spent $2T we did not have to subsidize the economy under Covid.
        The problem got FAR bigger when Biden and democrats spent $5T in 2021.

        Obviously it matters to the people who can not heat their homes.
        But things are going to get bad.

        We may not want that – but the alternative is worse.
        So we WANT a recession – unfortunately.

        And if we are wise we want it NOW, we want it large – if it is large enough and fast enough, we may be able to get away with a SHORT recession.

        Otherwise it will be long.

        1. iowan2, and John Say,
          I agree with your assessments.
          However, in what I would call “normal” times, a recession would bring inflation down, these are not normal times.
          The food and energy crisis I think will keep prices elevated even during a recession. It may come down some, but remain elevated when compared to historic levels. I have seen some try to normalize the idea of 4-5% inflation.
          If this years harvest is as bad as some think it will be, I am inclined to agree, food inflation will go higher next year.
          If next years spring planting goes badly and the drought continues, things are going to get interesting and not in a good way.

          1. Ending inflation does not return prices to what they were before.
            It just reduces the rate of increase.

            In an actual free market – mild deflation is the norm.
            That is actually good for people – because wages are the last price to go down.

            But we do not have actual free markets.
            Central banks can not manage money supply without inflation – that is why since 1916 the US has always had inflation.
            The Fed tries to keep the inflation rate low. and in the past 40 years it has MOSTLY been good at that

            None of the approve applies to SPECIFIC prices. The laws of supply and demand control prices for SPECIFIC commodities.
            If there is a shortage of oil, the price of oil – and everything that relies on oil will rise.
            But so long as money supply does not also increase – somewhere else in the market prices must go down.

            I would note that if you factor OUT money – over the long run the price of nearly everything declines.
            That is quite literally how standard of living rises. There is no other way.

            The price of goods in terms of the human effort needed to by those goods MUST decline for standard of living to rise.

            Regardless, take pretty much ANY commodity. look at the price of that comodity in say 1965 – in terms of hours of Minimum wage or Median wage labor needed to pay for it, and look at the same item today.

            In nearly all cases – it takes less hours of work, to earn Anything today than in the past.
            Further the quality is in nearly all instances greater.

            Anyway the point is that inflation and the actual price of specific goods is two independent economic factors.

            It is actually WRONG to say “food inflation” or energy inflation – because inflation is the increase in the overall price level.
            It is drive solely by too much money.

            While increases in the price of gas or food may be driven by inflation, and/or many other factors.

            Over a long enough time period the price of food or gas will decline – priced in the human effort needed to by that food or gas.

            One of the huge problems with actual inflation – is that when there is inflation – the price in human effort INCREASES.

          2. All inflation is detrminetal to standard of living – but the higher the inflation rate the worse the harm.

            The recent numbers claimed that inflation dropped to 7.7% in Oct, and that 3Q GDP was rising at an annual rate of 2.6%.
            Unless GDP was calculated factoring in inflation – then there was a real drop of 5.1% in GDP.
            I doubt that is true, but measuring GDP in the midst of high inflation is much more difficult than normal.

            An inflation rate of 4-5% requires nominal GDP increases of atleast 4-5% to have real GDP growth of 0%.

          3. If we bring inflation down to zero and still have steady price increases in food we will have conflict and violence throughout much of the world.

            While global food abundance is double what it was 40 years ago – 3/4 of the worlds population is still food insecure.
            Food shortages or price increases mean instability throughout the world.

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