President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program was struck down by a Texas federal judge, calling it “unconstitutional.”
The ruling came after an October lawsuit by the Job Creators Network Foundation on behalf of two individuals who did not qualify for the program.
In a 26-page decision, Judge Mark T. Pittman said the court concluded that the 2003 HEROES Act that Biden pointed to as a means to sign his loan forgiveness order, did not provide “clear congressional authorization for the Program proposed by the Secretary.”
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” Pittman said in his conclusion. “Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government.”
Th White House responded to the judge’s decision through a statement from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“We strongly disagree with the District Court’s ruling on our student debt relief program and the Department of Justice has filed an appeal,” Jean-Pierre said Thursday. “The President and this Administration are determined to help working and middle-class Americans get back on their feet, while our opponents – backed by extreme Republican special interests – sued to block millions of Americans from getting much-needed relief.”
Jean-Pierre added that the department of education would keep the information of the 26 million students who filed and 16 million who were already approved, in order to “process their relief once we prevail in court.”
The administration has already appealed the judge’s ruling to the 5th circuit.
“We will never stop fighting for hardworking Americans most in need,” Jean-Pierre said on behalf of the White House. “No matter how many roadblocks our opponents and special interests try to put in our way.”
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