From the very moment President Joe Biden announced his unilateral “cancellation” of $10,000 per borrower in student loan debt, critics have blasted his plan as unfair, costly, and unconstitutional. In response, the White House has grasped at straws to try to justify it somehow having the authority to usurp Congress’s constitutional powers and spend money without legislation. But the president just tipped his hand — and revealed that he actually does know his plan is unlawful.
Here’s the backstory.
Whenever a major partisan proposal is unveiled these days, lawsuits quickly pop up to try to block it in court. But, when Biden announced his student loan bailout, a legal headache emerged. At first glance, it was hard to see who would be able to challenge the plan in court because of a legal doctrine known as “standing.”
“Under current Supreme Court precedent, plaintiffs have to meet three requirements to get standing to file a lawsuit in federal court: They must 1) have suffered an ‘injury in fact,’ 2) the injury in question must be caused by the allegedly illegal conduct they are challenging, and 3) a court decision should be able to redress the injury,” law professor Ilya Somin explained.
Basically, in order to sue, you have to have been directly harmed by the program. And, on paper, it’s hard to see who is harmed by the bailout because, unfortunately, just generally being a taxpayer whose money is being illegally wasted is not considered sufficient justification to bring a lawsuit.
So, for a while, it seemed that even though Biden’s plan was glaringly constitutionally suspect, nobody would be able to challenge it in court, meaning it wouldn’t be struck down even if it was unconstitutional. Thankfully, various right-of-center plaintiffs have come up with creative ways to challenge the plan in court. One such lawsuit that has emerged is a suit by six states claiming that their finances would be harmed by Biden’s bailout because they’re heavily invested in private companies that service loans and will take a big hit from the president’s cancellation initiative.
The White House panicked. It responded by immediately changing the details of its plan to exclude these types of “privately backed” loans, removing the eligibility of more than 700,000 potential beneficiaries. This was clearly intended to prevent the lawsuit from moving forward.
“By getting rid of the privately-backed loans, they probably cut off the right to sue from certain investors, financial institutions, and state governments who could argue they would be negatively impacted by the proposal,” Heritage Foundation legal policy analyst Jack Fitzhenry told Fox News. “This makes it a lot harder for states and companies managing the privately-held debt to sue over lost revenue.”
There’s really only one reason Biden and his administration would so drastically change their plan: They know it won’t hold up in court if a challenge is allowed to move forward. That’s right. Biden is knowingly pushing an unconstitutional policy and simply hoping he can evade scrutiny by the courts.
So, this is no longer just about bad policy or wasted taxpayer money. Biden’s legal tactics are a national disgrace — and a flagrant, partisan attempt to avoid the checks and balances built into our constitutional order.