Reviews | Biden’s student loan program could be in trouble

The Pacific Legal Foundation, libertarian litigators with no shortage of things to plead against, might have found the key to unlocking a courthouse door. If so, President Biden’s botched cancellation during election season of $500 billion (at least over 10 years) in student loans could be deemed illegal and unconstitutional.

Its grossest flaw is its oversight of the Constitution’s appropriations clause, which – in case it escaped your notice, as Biden obviously does – says, “No money shall be drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but as a consequence of the credits granted by law”.

If not, how does student loan forgiveness violate statutory and constitutional law, and justice? Count the paths.

It shifts wealth upwards to a mostly affluent minority — college graduates, who have higher projected incomes (on average, nearly $1 million more) than the nearly two-thirds of Americans without a college degree who will pay, as taxpayers, to improve the financial situation. status of university graduates. Forgiveness is unfair to students who have taken jobs and skimped to avoid racking up student debt. And to those who have repaid their debts. Forgiveness creates moral hazard: future students will borrow in anticipation of future forgiveness. Forgiveness draws arbitrary distinctions: Why is student debt a more pressing issue than, say, consumer, car, or mortgage debt?

Biden’s half-trillion dollar pardon spending will eclipse the $248 billion in savings postulated from the fancifully titled Cut Inflation Act. In a mild understatement, the New York Times says that when administration officials claim the rebate is “paid” because tax revenue is higher than expected, it “defies traditional budget accounting conventions.” If revenues increase by an unexpected amount of at least X, a new program spending X costs nothing? Who knew?

Follow George F Willthe opinions ofFollow

Despite the Supreme Court warning the executive branch that Congress isn’t hiding elephants in mouseholes, Biden claims to have found a huge pachyderm – clearance for his $500 billion agenda – tucked away in the 2003 heroes. It allows the executive to modify student loans in times of war (eg, 2003) or other “national emergency”. Nowadays, emergencies exist when the presidential whim proclaims one. Under the 2003 law, student borrowers are heroes. Talk about setting virtue down.

The Pardon Policy has been produced, without legal mandate or due process of public notice and comment. As a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation puts it, Biden created “a $500 billion press release program.”

The program’s flaws provide what the military calls a target-rich environment. But because of Supreme Court rules on who has “standing” to sue — rules that should be liberalized — a private citizen cannot sue even if Biden’s pardon cornucopia harms the financial well-being of the citizen, and the structure and processes of citizen government.

The PLF, however, found among its lawyers the one who would suffer concrete harm as a result of Biden’s pardon. He lives in Indiana, where, like in at least six other states, canceled loans can be taxed as income. He says he will be economically harmed by the cancellation of repayments of his particular loan. Biden’s minions could try to derail the PLF litigation by creating a way for the Hoosiers and others in the same situation to opt out of what would otherwise be an automatic pardon.

If, however, the PLF can establish a plaintiff’s standing, it will plead, among other things, the applicability of the “major issues” and “non-delegation” doctrines. The first argues that when the executive branch claims the power to order social changes with broad economic or political consequences (e.g., the Centers for Disease Control claiming the power, since reversed, to impose a moratorium on evictions at the nationwide), the courts should be skeptical unless legislation clearly and explicitly authorizes the power. It’s implausible that, two decades after the Heroes Act was passed to cushion lives disrupted by wartime deployments, it would authorize Biden’s unilateral spending of almost three times the Army’s 2022 budget. American.

The non-delegation doctrine holds that Congress cannot delegate essentially legislative power to the executive. Like the power to rewrite the Heroes Act to waive legal requirements inconsistent with Biden’s sweeping pardon.

Presidents properly exercise “emergency” powers not to solve long-standing problems, but only during sudden, unexpected, and rapid crises, and only until Congress can exercise its legislative jurisdiction. Biden, however, announced his loan forgiveness as an act of executive discretion warranted by legislation drafted in response to an over emergency, the war in Iraq. This law was repurposed to bloat presidential power during the declared pandemic emergency.

But about a month after Biden announced the pardon, he said, “The pandemic is over.” Nevertheless, progressives praise all of this. Their praise temporarily interrupted their professions of alarm about threatened constitutional, rule of law and democratic standards.

Comments are closed.