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Student loan forgiveness plan struck down by federal judge

President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program was struck down Thursday by a federal judge.

The ruling determined that the program is unlawful. The judge that struck it down was District Judge Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. If the move was approved, Americans with student loan debt may have qualified for up to $20,000 in debt relief. Pittman said the ruling was “an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power,” according to Rochester First.

According to the Biden administration, they say they have the authority to make a move like this thanks to the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003. The argument was rejected by Pittman.

A lawsuit back in October was filed by the Job Creators Network Foundation, which is a conservative advocacy group. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of one borrower that was ineligible for the relief, and another who was not eligible for the $20,000 relief.

The Job Creators Network Foundation claimed that there was no public notice from the Department of Education. They also claimed that the agency couldn’t forgive student loans under the HEROES Act. The Department of Education usually receives rules from Congress to follow. Pittman determined the agency did not have clear authorization from Congress to forgive the student loans.

“Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine,” Pittman said. “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.”

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