Student Loan Forgiveness: A federal judge calls student loan relief unlawful

On Friday, October 21, 2022, in Dover, Delaware, President Joe Biden will speak on Student Loan Forgiveness at Delaware State University. On November 9, 2022, a federal judge in Texas rejected Biden’s proposal to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loans for millions of debtors.

President Biden’s proposal to forgive tens of millions of borrowers’ federal student loan debts ran into trouble in court on Thursday when a Texas judge for the U.S. District Court declared it to be illegal and revoked the debt relief initiative.

The ruling, which was made only a few weeks before student loan payments were scheduled to resume in January, was swiftly appealed by the federal government.

Judge Mark T. Pittman, who was selected by former President Donald Trump, ruled on Thursday that the program amounted to the executive branch’s “full usurpation” of congressional authority.

Pittman dismissed the Biden administration’s claims that the COVID-19 outbreak qualifies as a national emergency and that Congress had already granted the president the authority to cancel student loan arrears under the HEROES Act.

In the meanwhile, student loan payments will start up again in January. Before that payment pause ended on January 1st, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told NPR in September that he hoped to process as many debt relief requests as he could. The department’s chances of achieving that objective are slim following Thursday’s ruling.

On Nov. 3, President Biden stated that the Education Department had received applications for relief from close to 26 million Americans, and that the department was on schedule to cancel 16 million loans.

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