November 27, 2022

BARRETT SHOCKER: Biden’s student debt relief program upheld by a surprising source

BARRETT SHOCKER: Biden's student debt relief program upheld by a surprising source

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UPDATE:  the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals put another temporary hold on the Biden Administration’s student debt relief program in a different lawsuit after the ruling by Justice Barrett detailed below. Expect a new ruling on this new case by midweek.

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Justice Amy Coney Barrett threw a wrench in the GOP’s plan to piss on President Joe Biden’s student debt relief parade. The court’s resident Handmaid rejected a challenge to the Democratic administration’s student loan forgiveness program.

While this isn’t the first or only lawsuit Biden faces for his bold move to erase up to $10,000 in student loan debt – $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients – it is a huge win for POTUS and the over 40 million saddled with crippling, and potentially predatory, loans.

Brown County Taxpayers Association sued President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, and the Department of Education, in a rambling and illogical motion, accusing President Biden of usurping congressional authority, and claiming the student debt relief program will “deplete” the United States Treasury.

“We are witnessing a gargantuan increase in the national debt accomplished by a complete disregard for limitations on the constitutional spending authority,” they wrote. – CNN

None of that is true.

Just a week ago, the Attorneys General of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Carolina, and a legal representative from Iowa, sought a temporary injunction to prevent the relief from taking place.

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George W. Bush’s appointee, District Judge Henry Edward Autrey, heard the case, asking the plaintiffs what standing they had to bring the complaint. Telling the disgruntled Republican complainants, “You can have all the ingredients for a cake. But it’s hard to make a cake if you don’t have a pan to put the cake in. The pan is the standing,” Autrey said, CNN reported.

The Brown County complaint appeared on the shadow docket for SCOTUS, initially speculated to refer the case to the full court – only four justices are needed  – Barrett declined to hear the appeal entirely in what can be called a “surprising” move.

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This isn’t the first time Justice Barrett has surprised the public with her decision.

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In August 2021, Justice Handmaid declined to block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate in a case brought by IU anti-vax students – upholding a lower court’s ruling.

A panel of judges on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals – all Republican appointees – said that vaccination requirements “have been common in this nation” and stressed that the school’s policies allow exemptions for those who have medical issues related to the vaccine or religious objections.

“These plaintiffs just need to wear a mask and be tested, requirements that are not constitutionally problematic,” the court held, and added that otherwise, vaccination is a condition for attending the university. Those who do not want to be vaccinated may “go elsewhere.”

Barrett gave no reason for her decision. In the meantime, the website to apply for relief is up and running. Over eight million debtors applied last weekend, with tens of millions more eligible. As Republicans keep trying – and failing – to keep over 40 million Americans from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, with her ruling, Justice Barrett proves that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Original reporting by Ariene de Vogue at CNN.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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