Biden Ignores Court, Presses On With Student Loan Forgiveness

Opponents of President Joe Biden’s push to erase student loan debt for millions of U.S. borrowers scored a recent legal victory when a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the plan.

Although a federal judge dismissed a case brought by six states arguing that the program would unjustly harm loan companies that handle certain federal student loans, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted the process while it considers the motion.

The ruling has not deterred the Biden administration, however, which continues to encourage borrowers to sign up for the opportunity to have up to $20,000 in federal loans erased.

For his part, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona indicated on Friday that his agency is “moving full speed ahead” despite the appeals court decision.

In an op-ed published by USA Today, he denounced “some Republicans” for “trying every which way to block the Biden Administration’s debt relief program.”

Cardona followed up with a video statement in which he declared that the White House “is not deterred” by the latest legal roadblock.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also weighed in on the current situation by confirming that the administration is actively considering applications from Americans who have already filed for forgiveness.

“The order does not reverse the trial court’s dismissal of the case, or suggest that the case has merit,” she said on Friday. “It merely prevents debt from being discharged until the court makes a decision.”

It remains to be seen how the appeals court ruling will play out, though NPR noted that there are two possible outcomes. The panel could either hand down an injunction that expands the current block or dismiss the complaint, which would allow the Biden administration’s plan to commence unimpeded.

A final ruling is expected within a few days.

Last week, a separate lawsuit made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to block the program. Justice Amy Coney Barrett received the emergency application on behalf of a Wisconsin-based special-interest group and shot down the request in a decision that appeared to have been supported by the other justices.

The Brown County Taxpayers Association argued that the Department of Education does not have the authority to forgive student loans without the explicit support of Congress.