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First Lawsuit Filed Against Biden's Student Loan 'Forgiveness' Plan

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On Tuesday, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed the first lawsuit against President Joe Biden's so-called student loan "forgiveness" plan that seeks to "cancel" student loan debts of $10,000, and even up to $20,000 for some. This plan was announced over a month ago, on August 24. 


The case in question, Garrison v. U.S. Department of Education was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, with PLF having filed a temporary restraining order to prevent the loan cancellation from going into effect. 

As a press release from PLF explains:

Plaintiff Frank Garrison is a public interest attorney — now at Pacific Legal Foundation — who believes the rule of law and separation of powers are bulwarks for liberty and against centralized government power. As a part of an existing, congressionally authorized Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, he will receive debt forgiveness after making 10 years of payments on his loans. The challenged program will stick him with a new state tax bill which he would not have under his existing PSLF program.

The press release also communicates a profound disagreement with the plan:

In August 2022, President Biden announced his plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt per person for more than 40 million Americans. The Department of Education’s justification relies on an inapplicable, 20-year-old law: The HEROES Act, which was intended as aid to veterans and their families, allows government to modify student loans during times of war or national emergency.

Whatever the motives of the president for transferring massive amounts of student debt to taxpayers in a rushed, haphazard manner, it certainly seems like an election year ploy. That is one of the predictable effects of the president usurping Congress’ power to make law. Not since President Trump imposed a nationwide eviction moratorium before the 2020 elections has a president abused his power so profoundly.


Heavy criticism has abounded over the plan not merely due to its constitutionality, but because those who have made student loan payments or did not go to college receive no benefit. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona admitted as much to Fox News' Peter Doocy during an interview at the time the plan was announced. 

PLF also tweeted out a thread explaining other problems with the plan.

It's worth reminding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who went along with the plan, has acknowledged before that the president does not have such authority to go about canceling debts in such a way. 

PLF tweeted and retweeted news articles highlighting their lawsuit, including from Danielle Douglas-Gabriel at The Washington Post. "The argument is in line with other objections to Biden’s plan, but the foundation may have the one thing legal experts said was needed to make a legitimate case, a client with the standing to sue," she wrote.


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