White House vows to fight court order against Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness — then takes down application

The Biden administration on Friday deactivated its online application for student loan borrowers to apply for debt forgiveness.

“Courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn those orders,” reads a message on the website.

The administration stopped accepting student loan debt forgiveness applications after a federal judge ruled Biden’s plan unconstitutional.

What did the judge say?

On Thursday, federal District Court Judge Mark Pittman agreed the legal justification for Biden’s plan — the HEROES Act of 2003 — is dubious.

“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 declared.

“The Program is thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated,” he ruled.

How did the White House respond?

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration would appeal Pittman’s decision to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We strongly disagree with the District Court’s ruling on our student debt relief program and the Department of Justice has filed an appeal,” she said.

“For the 26 million borrowers who have already given the Department of Education the necessary information to be considered for debt relief — 16 million of whom have already been approved for relief — the Department will hold onto their information so it can quickly process their relief once we prevail in court,” the statement added.

Anything else?

Various lawsuits have been filed against Biden’s plan. Another federal appeals court has already temporarily blocked the forgiveness program from being implemented.

It’s not clear when these cases will be resolved, leaving tens of millions of Americans in financial limbo.

If the Justice Department is granted an emergency stay against Pittman’s order, and if the Eighth Circuit ends its temporary stay, “then the administration would be allowed to cancel debt before a final ruling is made by the 5th Circuit,” CNN reported.

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