The Department of Justice has begun efforts to defend President Biden’s hotly debated effort to erase billions of dollars in student loan debt.
The DOJ submitted a court filing Wednesday night with their opening brief justifying the legality of the sweeping loan forgiveness.
The Supreme Court is entertaining two cases that challenge the program, both scheduled to begin oral arguments next month.
While the Justice Department maintains that Biden’s debt relief efforts ‘fall comfortably within the plain text of the [HEROES Act],’ they are seeking to have the challenges dismissed due to lack of legal standing.
The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to block previous rulings out of Texas and Missouri that ruled the program unconstitutional.
A federal judge in Texas struck down the White House’s student loan handout last year, ruling in a case brought by the Job Creators Network Foundation. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, argues that the plaintiffs were denied due process under the Administrative Procedure Act to object to the move during a comment period.
Additionally, Missouri led Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Carolina in filing a lawsuit to challenge the program, claiming that the Department of Education lacks the authority to cancel debt to this degree.
The DOJ wrote in the Wednesday filing, ‘The lower courts’ orders have erroneously deprived the Secretary of his statutory authority to provide targeted student-loan debt relief to borrowers affected by national emergencies, leaving millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo.’