A Wisconsin-based legal group filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, asking the high court to issue a temporary injunction against President Joe Biden’s unconstitutional student loan bailout program.
Filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) on behalf of the Brown County Taxpayers Association (BCTA), the application asks Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who oversees emergency-related matters from the 7th Circuit (which includes Wisconsin), to temporarily halt Biden’s program while lower-level federal courts decide its legality.
“Given the impending unconstitutional actions by [the president], [WILL] respectfully requests emergency consideration of this application,” the document reads.
Announced by Biden back in August, the “One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief” plan seeks to “cancel” up to $10,000 in student loans ($20,000 for Pell Grant borrowers) for those with annual incomes of less than $125,000. In its application to Barrett, WILL argues that there is “no legal justification” for Biden’s proposal and that it is a “presidential usurpation of the constitutional spending power, which is reserved exclusively for Congress.”
“The President has transformed a law designed to benefit military personnel and first responders who have been disadvantaged by their response to a discrete national emergency into a warrant to transfer hundreds of billions, or perhaps over a trillion, dollars in debt onto taxpayers,” the document reads. “But these student-loan borrowers have not been disadvantaged by their service to the country, or for that matter, anything at all.”
“To the contrary, the President contends this authority exists because, in his sole judgment, and notwithstanding that the need to make loan payments has long been suspended, the COVID-19 pandemic may have made repayment more difficult for some (but not all) recipients of his largesse,” the application continues.
In attempting to justify the legality of the program, the administration has routinely cited the HEROES Act, a law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and intended to help U.S. military service members by permitting the executive to waive loans in “connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency.”
As The Federalist previously reported, “the Education Department has attempted to rationalize that the ‘COVID-19 pandemic’ fulfills the HEROES Act’s definition of a national emergency, despite Biden himself declaring the pandemic to be ‘over’ during a recent ’60 Minutes’ interview.” Although the administration officially began beta testing the proposal on Friday, the Education Department has yet to provide a release date for the program’s final version.
“What Constitutional power does Biden have to take John Q. Public’s money and pay Jane Q. Public’s school loans?” BCTA President Rich Heidel said in a WILL press release. “Why not her mortgage, why not her car loan? How did the college-educated caste become the lucky ones? When and how does this stop? This nonsense not only defies the US Constitution – it defies common sense!”
A lawsuit making similar arguments was previously filed by WILL and BCTA earlier this month in a federal district court, but was ultimately dismissed by the judge for lack of standing. After having their request that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals intervene in the matter denied, the case now remains on appeal at the 7th Circuit.