So much for protecting the taxpayer!
Biden’s student loan forgiveness policy has the conservative lawyers coming out
Last week, the Biden administration announced its plan for student loan relief. Although it’s far from perfect, it’s a step in the right direction, especially as calls for debt cancellation rise nationwide. But once again, Republicans are intent on ruining everything, with reporting emerging this week that they’re devising plans to sue the Biden administration to keep Americans in debt.
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Republican state attorney generals, including those from Arizona, Missouri, and Texas, are considering their options for lawsuits to target the Biden administration’s plan. Although nothing has been filed yet, the outlet reported that a person familiar with the matter said Republicans are considering filing a slew of cases nationwide.
Filing a shit ton of cases across courts to stop social measures is a long-standing Republican strategy. Just look at some of the ongoing litigation around mail-in voting. But even if you can expect this from Republicans, that doesn’t make hearing about their plans any less annoying.
Attorney generals aren’t the only ones plotting to stop Biden’s debt relief before the government can even launch its official application. The Post reported that John Malcolm, director of the Meese Center at the Heritage Foundation, said, “The conservative public interest law firms in our network are exploring filing lawsuits against this.”
“They are doing background legal research, trying to find out who might be the most suitable clients for them,” Malcolm continued. “They have to find a client with the standing and the gumption to take on a lawsuit.”
On Wednesday, Salon also reported that the Job Creators Network, a conservative dark money organization, declared it’s “weighing its legal options to block President Biden’s illegal student loan bailout,” claiming Biden’s plan is “executive overreach.”
These claims aren’t new. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who first blasted the policy as benefiting the “slacker barista,” has been running around saying similar nonsense. When tweeting about his appearance on conservative pundit Liz Wheeler’s show, Cruz wrote, “Biden’s plan to ‘cancel’ student loan debt is not legal! It’s just more of the lawlessness that we’ve seen from the Biden admin.” But even if Republicans find suitable plaintiffs, experts believe that they will still have a hard time building their case.
First of all: The White House has already said it’s using the same authority that former President Donald Trump did when he paused student loan payments. As the Post noted, Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters, “That has not been challenged in court. It has not been found improper by a court.”
In addition, Lauren Tribe, a Harvard law professor, told the outlet, “The legality is very, very strong. ... The language of the Heroes Act states that in a national emergency, the president can take action that includes suspending or canceling debt.”