Lawsuit against unlawful student debt cancellation continues
September 29, 2022
Indianapolis; September 29, 2022: Today, Pacific Legal Foundation’s motion for a temporary restraining order was denied without prejudice, but the case continues as we amend our complaint and continue to challenge this flagrantly illegal abuse of executive power.
“Since Pacific Legal Foundation filed the case on Tuesday, the government has made two staggeringly large changes to the program via quiet revisions to a Department of Education website, which only serves to underscore the lawless nature of this program,” said Caleb Kruckenberg, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “The government clearly had not considered the implications of the program for people like our plaintiff, Frank Garrison.”
The government confirmed, contrary to previous public statements, that it would not issue an automatic cancellation of loans. They say that borrowers who would be harmed by the student loan cancellation will be given the chance to opt out. But the government still has not announced when cancellation will occur or what the opt-out process will look like. They owe the tens of thousands of Americans in Frank’s position more than a pinky promise on these important questions.
Additionally, the government still has not given people in Frank’s position a real choice in the matter. Requiring them to affirmatively opt out of the program places a burden on them to avoid harm from this unlawful program. Due process is better served by a process that requires borrowers to opt in.
“None of these on-the-fly changes can remedy the fact that the entire program is brazenly illegal from top to bottom,” said Michael Poon, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “At no point has the government made a plausible argument that the underlying policy is legal. So far, they have not challenged our argument that the administration’s ‘lawmaking by press release’ is unconstitutional.”
The case is Garrison v. U.S. Department of Education.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.