The Republican state attorneys general and other top conservatives are contemplating filing a spate of lawsuits in opposition to President Biden's plan to cancel some student debt. These challenges have the potential to restrict or nullify the policy before it is put into full force.
In recent days, a number of Republican attorneys general from states including Arizona, Missouri, and Texas have reportedly met behind closed doors to discuss a strategy that could see multiple cases filed in different courts across the country. This is according to a person who is familiar with their thinking and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the confidential talks. This person described the discussions under the condition that they be kept confidential.
According to two additional people who are familiar with the situation, other influential conservatives, such as Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and allies of the Heritage Foundation, are considering their own options as they ramp up their criticism of Vice President Joe Biden's plan to relieve the nation's debt. Cruz is one of the most vocal critics of Biden's proposal. In addition to this, a conservative advocacy group that was established by a significant donor to Trump has stated that they intend to litigate the regulation.
As of the morning of Thursday, all of the sources cautioned that no decisions had been made, and it appeared that no lawsuits had been filed as of that time. However, a legal struggle might have major financial repercussions for the millions of student borrowers who celebrated last week when Democrats honored a long-standing pledge to erase part of their debt. The promise to cancel some of the borrowers' debt had been made by Democrats.
The plan that was revealed by Vice President Biden last week states that the federal government will forgive up to $10,000 in federal student debt. However, this amount will increase to $20,000 if the borrower also earned Pell Grants, which are normally given to students with lower incomes. Even if the proposal is not as extensive as some members of the Democratic Party had hoped for, it will nonetheless result in a major financial advantage for a large number of creditors, many of whom have expressed concern that they may not receive the assistance before it is no longer available.
The plan to relieve Americans of their debt has been challenged by conservatives who say it is fiscally unwise and unfair to the millions of Americans who either did not go to college or have already paid off the student loans they took out. It has also been asserted by Republicans that the plan is unlawful because it usurps the spending authority that has been granted to Congress. These Republicans assert that the statute that was passed in 2003 was never intended to give the executive branch such extensive and unilateral authority.
Cruz, who ran for president in 2020, has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of the plan. However, in a radio interview that was broadcast on Wednesday, he admitted that it is unclear who will have legal "standing" — or a reason to challenge the decision — in court. Cruz was one of the Republicans who ran for president in 2020. A reporter approached by Cruz's spokesman for comment, but he declined, instead directing the reporter to Cruz's comments from that interview.
Cruz feels that it is highly improbable that the courts will deem a typical taxpayer to be qualified to initiate a case. It is possible, according to the senator, to locate a plaintiff who made a little bit more than the minimum amount necessary to qualify for debt forgiveness; nevertheless, it is not at all obvious that a judge would buy that case.
In addition, Cruz indicated that a current student might submit a lawsuit arguing that the debt forgiveness scheme will cause universities to raise tuition, so unfairly subjecting students to higher fees. Cruz stated that such a case could be filed at any time.
Independent legal experts have stated that there is a possibility that a legal challenge may be successful. A professor at Fordham Law School named Jed Handelsman Shugerman believes that the Justice Department document that attempted to justify the policy on the basis of the coronavirus did not fit the nature of the sweeping action nor the way that the White House has defended it. During the presentation of the proposal, Vice President Biden put the majority of his emphasis on fixing the failing higher education system and placed less of a priority on giving emergency relief due to the epidemic.
He highlighted his support for canceling student loans and asked the administration to alter its legal case so that it would not be rejected by the Supreme Court. Shugerman's position was well received.
It is difficult to foresee where the Supreme Court will rule on the matter, according to Adam Minsky, a lawyer in Boston who specializes in student loan concerns. However, the primary legal challenge is likely to be whether any plaintiff has standing to sue. According to him, litigation might lead to an emergency injunction that would suspend the policy just as it was about to go into force, which would create upheaval for tens of millions of borrowers, maybe right before the midterm elections that will take place this autumn.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Cable.