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Appeals Court Puts Temporary Hold On Biden’s $400+ Billion Student Loan Forgiveness Giveaway

Appeals Court Puts Temporary Hold On Biden’s $400+ Billion Student Loan Forgiveness Giveaway

“an administrative stay prohibiting the [federal government] from discharging any student loan debt under the Cancellation program until this Court rules on the appellants’ motion for an injunction pending appeal is granted.”

Challengers to Joe Biden’s midterms-driven student loan forgiveness, estimated to cost over $400 billion, have run into a roadblock as to whether they have “standing” to sue.

The Nebraska and several other states brought suit for an injunction in the District Court of Nebraska, but on October 20, 2022, the motion was denied for lack of standing (emphasis added):

Because Plaintiff States – Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina – have failed to establish Article III standing, the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case. It should be emphasized that “standing in no way depends upon the merits of the Plaintiff[s’] contention that the particular conduct is illegal.” Warth, 422 U.S. at 500. While Plaintiffs present important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan, the current Plaintiffs are unable to proceed to the resolution of these challenges. “Standing is a threshold inquiry; it requires focus on the part[ies] seeking to have [their] complaint heard in a federal court, and it eschews evaluation of the merits. The court is not to consider the weight or significance of the alleged injury, only whether it exists.” Coalition for the Environment v. Volpe, 504 F.2d 156, 168 (8th Cir. 1974) (emphasis added).

The District Court judge denied a request for a stay pending the 8th Circuit deciding whether to grant a stay.

Earlier today the states filed an Emergency Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal:

The Supreme Court just warned federal agencies against “asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.” West Virginia v. EPA, 142 S. Ct. 2587, 2609 (2022). Yet the Biden Administration is doing exactly that through its Mass Debt Cancellation, which will erase over $400 billion of the $1.6 trillion in outstanding federal student loan debt. The statute on which the Administration relies—the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (HEROES Act)—does not empower the Department of Education or its Secretary to decree the Cancellation. This agency action thus exceeds the Administration’s authority, violates the separation of powers, and is hopelessly arbitrary.

This Court should enter an injunction pending appeal because the States have standing, are facing irreparable harm, and are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims. In contrast, no borrower will be disadvantaged by interim relief because loan repayments and interest accruals are paused, and the Department can continue that forbearance while this appeal is pending.

The states also filed an Emergency Motion for an Administrative Stay. An administrative stay is a lower hurdle than a regular stay, it basically is just a temporary administrative mechanism to put an imminent challenged action on hold until the court can get briefing and consider it. To put it somewhat sarcastically, in an emergency situation it prevents the appeals court judges from having to do work over the weekend. Here, since the loan forgiveness kicks in as early as Sunday, October 23, action was needed this weekend.

From the Emergency Motion for an Administrative Stay:

Because the district court erred in dismissing the States’ case and declining to enjoin the unlawful Cancellation program, the States have filed a motion for an injunction pending appeal concurrently with this motion. But Defendants-Appellees Joseph R. Biden, in his official capacity as the President of the United States; Miguel Cardona, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Education (the Secretary); and the United States Department of Education (the Department) (collectively the “Administration”) say that they will start cancelling student loan debt under the program as early as October 23, which is just two days away. See R. Doc. 27-1, at 4, ¶5. To ensure that does not happen before this Court can consider the States’ motion for an injunction pending appeal, the States respectfully request that, by 9:00 AM Central Saturday October 22, the Court temporarily stay the Administration from discharging any student loan debt under the Cancellation program until this Court rules on that motion. See Fed. R. App. P. 27(a)(1). The States also ask the Court to set an expedited briefing schedule on the motion for an injunction pending appeal. The States have asked the Administration for its position on these requests, but as of the time of this filing, they have not received a response.

The 8th Circuit late today entered an Order granting the administrative stay, with briefing to be concluded by Tuesday, October 25.

Appellants’ emergency motion for an administrative stay prohibiting the appellees from discharging any student loan debt under the Cancellation program until this Court rules on the appellants’ motion for an injunction pending appeal is granted.

The request for expedited briefing on the motion for an injunction pending appeal is granted as follows: Appellees’ response in opposition shall be due on or before 5:00 PM Central, Monday, October 24, 2022 and the Appellants’ reply, if any, is due on or before 5:00 PM Central, Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

I wouldn’t read too much into the administrative stay, it’s not on the merits, But, that said, there can be a certain momentum in fact that develops once an action is put on hold that carries over into the briefing on the merits.

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Comments

Nonsense. The federal government is comprised of the representatives of the several states and their people. If their representatives enact legislation for using the public treasury to finance student loads, then that same Congress can alter, amend or abolish that law. The President cannot unilaterally alter, amend or abolish a law because the constitution vests ALL legislative powers to the Congress.

    You’re thinking like an American, not a fascist.

    I’ve read and re-read Article I, Section 1 and, like you, have noted the use of the word “all.” Knowing that all means all and that’s all the all means, how, I’ve often wondered, can executive orders masquerade as “law” as the term law is defined in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 7).

      henrybowman in reply to pfg. | October 21, 2022 at 10:07 pm

      The same way “case law” can masquerade as “simply clarifying the original meaning of the Constitution” wen the judiciary does the exact same thing.

      Concise in reply to pfg. | October 21, 2022 at 10:22 pm

      Article I is not all there is. There are 3 co-equal branches of government. That means the President has certain inherent powers himself within his sphere of authority. And, incidentally, a court acting without standing is operating outside its authority.

        CommoChief in reply to Concise. | October 22, 2022 at 10:31 am

        Are you arguing that a President has the power to spend taxpayer dollars that were not appropriated by Congress on a program that was not authorized by Congress?

          Concise in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 10:34 am

          No, I’m arguing that the federal legal system is not the proper constitutional forum to resolve the dispute.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 10:49 am

          To be very clear then, the practical effect of your position will result in a bare Congressional majority laying supine as a President of the same party disregards the Constitution with no recourse to the CT for individuals, corporations or the Sovereign States.

          In sum this could occur on day one of a Presidential administration and any relief is two years away following the seating of the next Congress?

          Ok but wouldn’t the feasibility of that recourse be entirely dependent upon which unconstitutional actions were taken? Suppose the POTUS decided that no more elections would take place. The Congressional majority would have an incentive to go along with it. So no CT challenge and no election. That seems like a one way ticket on crazy train to a dark future.

          Concise in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 11:09 am

          Well, Congress is a separate branch of government that can chose to act or not to act. All members are subject to reelection. Stolen elections have consequences like a Congress that stands by and does nothing, or worse. Empowering federal courts to act outside its constitutional authority (if there is a lack of standing) is not a solution. It’s more problems.

          Concise in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 11:21 am

          Oh if Brandon declared no more elections, I think we could find a litigant with standing there. But in general, if you don’t like our system then amend it. don’t abuse the courts. That’s how we get garbage like Roe.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 11:31 am

          IMO, the States have ample standing as separate Sovereigns.

          I agree with you about not throwing the baby out with bathwater in a moment of frustration. The problem is we have somehow decided to deliberately ignore the role the States are supposed to play as a check on Federal powers.

          The cavalier dismissal of the individual States and their importance in acting in protection of their Citizens and on behalf of themselves as separate Sovereigns is a problem.

          Concise in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 11:42 am

          Agree with your support of state’s rights. let’s get rid of the 17th amendment for a start.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 4:12 pm

          Yep. That needs to be an intermediate goal. As much as we may want it done tomorrow it’s gonna take some time and effort to convince folks why the benefits of returning that power to the State legislature outweighs the costs.

          Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | October 23, 2022 at 10:25 pm

          Are you arguing that a President has the power to spend taxpayer dollars that were not appropriated by Congress on a program that was not authorized by Congress?

          The president claims his actions are authorized by Congress. That’s why there’s a court case.

    Concise in reply to George S. | October 21, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Uh…No. Standing is a constitutional prerequisite for a federal court to act. If they don’t dismiss this action, you would have a court acting without constitutional authority. I don’t think you’d want to live in a country where federal courts could assert themselves anywhere without concern for standing.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Concise. | October 21, 2022 at 11:54 pm

      The problem comes when the left is allowed to use political lawfare and not get slapped with the “you lack standing” rejection stamp.

      It’s selective enforcement that is tearing this country apart.

        Ok, yeah, the left abuses the process, but that’s not the case here, in fact one could argue the opposite (and no I don’t support Brandon). And if you’re concerned about abusive use of litigation at the federal level, eliminating standing is not a cure. It would make things phenomenally worse.

      CommoChief in reply to Concise. | October 22, 2022 at 10:37 am

      That’s true. I presume you won’t have any problems with claw back of funds once the standing issue is mooted when the program goes active and a harm occurs?

      You wouldn’t be arguing this point to get this blatantly unconstitutional program started then years later complain about reliance issues once the normal timeline for trial CT and Appeals CT or potential SCOTUS decisions are undertaken?

        Concise in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 11:46 am

        I guess that’s possible but that’s a whole lot of potential trouble, politically speaking

          CommoChief in reply to Concise. | October 22, 2022 at 4:23 pm

          Indeed it it may be. Which is part and parcel of the d/prog strategy. Initiate an unconstitutional action hoping the CT rule no standing by a combo of evisceration of State Sovereignty and unrealized harm. Then distribute the benefits.

          This allows the d/prog to potentially gain in political support via unconstitutional act. Then the opponents of the unconstitutional act must overcome an established set of interests who face individual harm v generalised harm.

          The motivation to keep is far stronger than the motivation to prevent or end a generalized benefit. The media will describe ending the program as victimization. Lots of sob story bad PR.

          We’ve seen this repeatedly. See DACA. The better course is to acknowledge the States as having standing where non enumerated actions are in play.

        For one thing, the states can tax the forgiven loans as unearned income and stick it to the colleges, universities and banks to recover the taxpayer losses on this deal. For out of state colleges and universities, different tax rates? If nothing else, it will force colleges and universities to lower their tuition and fees if they not only lose their subsidies but are forced to guarantee the loans.

        Let them take THAT to court.

          CommoChief in reply to Pasadena Phil. | October 22, 2022 at 4:30 pm

          That seems unrealistic politically. It’s also gonna need hard for States without an income tax to do it; TX, FL or low income tax States which is almost all Red States. In addition many States use the federal definitions for simplicity.

          Hitting the Universities would be politically easier than hitting alumni, former students and current students. A simple bill that requires the University to provide payment as a contingency where the Student can’t or won’t make payments IAW their payment schedule. No exeptions.

    r2468 in reply to George S. | October 22, 2022 at 7:51 am

    I may not know the law but I have a feeling that I will be paying for this in the end. our government should represent the people. Yet we have no “standing” when it comes to elections or government spending.

    Milhouse in reply to George S. | October 23, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    Nonsense. The federal government is comprised of the representatives of the several states and their people. If their representatives enact legislation for using the public treasury to finance student loads, then that same Congress can alter, amend or abolish that law. The President cannot unilaterally alter, amend or abolish a law because the constitution vests ALL legislative powers to the Congress.

    You are misrepresenting the situation. Nobody alleges the president can unilaterally alter amend or abolish a law. Nobody. And the president is not purporting to do that. The question, the only question, before the courts is whether the president is authorized by a statute made by congress and signed by the president of the day to do this. He claims he is, the challenging states claim he is not. That is not a constitutional question, it’s one of statutory interpretation, and the constitution gives the courts the task of deciding that.

400 billion dollars!!!

Think about also 100billion + to ukraine, probably bush money, with no end in sight

Billions amd trillions of dollars

Like it’s cotton candy

I’m not getting my hopes too high. It’s not like our government or courts are made up of any but the worst of people.

I’m so old I can remember the Dems threatening impeachment for a President taking unallocated Defense department money and using it to build some sort of defensive structure on the southern border. Now we have a President who claims to be able to make magic money out of thin air and give it away to certain voters, and the Dems all cheer his genius.

    we have Dems saying deficits don’t matter and endorsing MMT which is print as much money as the government needs. What could possible go wrong. I think I’ll max out my credit card debt and see how that goes. /s

In his podcast, Sen Cruz laid out the hurdles involved in going after this and pointed right at the standing part. In effect, he said there was little that could be done to stop it. Turns out he wasn’t far off. The only way to stop unlawful actions like this from a President is to elect one who recognizes the laws and the Constitution of the United States and respects it

This might seem unrelated to this thread but it isn’t. The UK has just been utterly taken over by the same globalist forces that threaten to usurp our own government.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP8QDZw6bTU

Nigel Farage lays it out very clearly. The globalist coup that just seized control of the UK are the very same globalist forces that have been corrupting every part of American society. Let’s hope that we actually have an election in 2 weeks. Steve Bannon’s comments a couple of days ago strongly warns us that might not and to be prepared for it.

I thought Bannon said their judgement day is coming in Nov.

Here is another great (short) Jordan Peterson observation about faith in telling the truth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP8QDZw6bTU

You get into more trouble lying than telling the truth. And when you apologize for telling the truth, you have stripped the opportunity for those who heard to you to rise up and defend you. Tell the truth and stick to it. There is hope for those who give up the faith.

I have two questions if anyone would like to opine. 1) If the states don’t have standing to sue when the federal government acts unconstitutionally, then who has standing? We are the United STATES of America, Not the United FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS of the America. If the states can’t act as a check on unconstitutional actions of the feds, who can?

2) By cancelling the debt, banks earn less interest and pay less in taxes. Therefore states collect less taxes. If Biden actions results in few tax revenue for the states, how can the states not have standing?

    CommoChief in reply to dging. | October 22, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Two issues IMO.
    1. Standing
    2. Harm

    A plaintiffs must show actual harm not simply a projected harm. Even if everyone agrees that the action if allowed to proceed will cause a harm, that harm hasn’t occurred. No harm, no case. No problem on that IMO. It prevents speculation and keeps BS suits out of CT.

    On a basic constitutional question though re an act or failure to act by the Feds, IMO, the States should have standing as separate Sovereigns within our Federal system. Where the CTs fail to allow the States to act in CT proactively they undermine our system.

    Another way to approach this might be for them States to begin Sec 1983 violation suits. Clearly the Admin understands there are very real questions as to whether they are deliberately acting unconstitutionally.

    Here’s one example:
    A Veteran elected to transfer his GI Bill to his spouse under that retention option of his contract. The spouse can graduate with no debt but the Veteran had to agree to serve another six years. Fair trade so far.

    Now though the govt devalues that contract and the benefits by offering debt relief. Does the Vet have a property right interest in this earned benefit? Yes. Has the value of that property been reduced? Yes. Does that void the contract for a service member still on AD? ??

    Not to mention the moral hazard being created. Nor simple principles of fairness.

      Thanks for your reply. That makes sense. I get the no harm yet argument, although I have some strong disagreements with it, but that’s the law. But it seems clear that the States as separate sovereigns should have the right to sue now.

      This law is clearly unconstitutional and if the courts refuse to hear it because no one has standing to challenge it, it’s just another example of the travesty our justice system has become.

        CommoChief in reply to dging. | October 23, 2022 at 12:05 pm

        It would take an adjustment to give States an automatic Standing on basic Constitutional power violations. IMO anytime the Executive or Congress seek to expand beyond clearly established Constitutional powers denoted by explicit enumerated powers or precedent then a State should be able to have standing to get the question resolved before the action takes place.

        That’s a pretty limited rule. It wouldn’t apply where the Executive or Congress is doing something that has already been ruled ok by a final CT decision. It would be reserved for instances like this where the Executive is attempting an act that is almost certainly unconstitutional by expanding it’s power at the expense of another federal branch or at the expense of the States. Pesky 10th amendment.

    Milhouse in reply to dging. | October 23, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    ) If the states don’t have standing to sue when the federal government acts unconstitutionally, then who has standing?

    Often the answer is nobody has standing. There are many many cases where the government can openly flout the law, because nobody has standing to sue, and Congress doesn’t care to stop it. One of the big principles of the constitution is that the courts can’t step in just because a law is being violated. There must be a case or controversy, brought by someone with a particular interest in it.

    Also, it is not the states’ role to keep the federal government in check. That is congress’s role, but if congress likes what the president is doing it will choose not to stop him.

$400B of tax money to buy votes
Not shady or against the law at all, sure.