President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness faced another setback Thursday after a Texas federal judge blocked the handout, the Daily Caller reported. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman slammed it as an "unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power."
The program was pushed through under the HEROES Act which was meant to benefit veterans. Instead, the Biden administration attempted to use it to erase $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 annually.
The Job Creators Network Foundation sued the government on the grounds that it denied due process rights. Pittman ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, striking another blow to the beleaguered policy.
"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," Pittman’s decision stated. He avoided commenting on whether the court agreed with forgiving the loans.
"Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine," Pittman said, according to Fox News. "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," he wrote.
Pittman's decision is only the latest in a slew of court cases against the loan forgiveness program. The Biden administration announced its intention in August which sparked off several states' challenges.
By October, a federal appeals court had already put a temporary hold that prevented the government from "discharging any student loan debt." That decision was made after several states, including Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and South Carolina, sued the government.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the administration was undeterred and that the debt forgiveness would "move full speed ahead" after the first ruling. For this reason, Judicial Crisis Network president Carrie Severino believes this is a case for the U.S. Supreme Court.
"This is a classic area that the court has been looking at a lot lately, in part because we have seen administrations like the Biden administration that are reaching beyond their authority," Severino said. She added that government overreaches like mandating COVID-19 vaccines and extending the eviction moratorium have been taken up by the high court, paving the way.
"The student loan forgiveness is the same kind of thing," Severino said. "By the president's own admission, the COVID crisis is over. And yet now we're suddenly declaring a state of emergency to achieve one of his goals, which is simply a policy goal," she added.
Severino believes Biden is attempting to circumvent Congress with this program. "He knows he doesn't have the support of the legislature...And the court has been our backstop or constitutional policing of those boundaries."
Biden was attempting to bend the law to pay off a key demographic. Instead, his administration has found itself facing one challenge after the next on a provision that now seems doomed.