Will courts use standing to stop Biden’s illegal student loan relief?

It seems to me that every taxpayer in America has standing to challenge Biden’s grossly illegal actions.

The big headline is that Biden is slightly scaling back his illegal student relief loan scam. That does not make what he’s doing legal. The smaller headline is that a federal court appears poised to dismiss a lawsuit against the whole scheme on “standing” grounds. So I think it’s time to talk about standing.

Faced with the irrefutable fact that his plan to relieve college graduates of debt they willingly incurred is blatantly illegally, Biden has announced a slight scaling back:

The Biden administration announced that it is narrowing the scope of its student loan debt cancelation program because they’re afraid that loans held by private companies won’t pass legal muster in the courts.

Private entities hold some student loans through a program known as the Federal Family Education Loan Program. About four million borrowers out of the 45 million Americans who have outstanding student loan debt have secured loans through a private source.

The loans are held by various private lenders, guaranty agencies, and loan servicers — any of which would have the standing to sue the administration for canceling the debts. Given that the chances are excellent they would win in court, the administration decided that they present the greatest legal threat to the debt relief plan.

Four million borrowers out of 45 million is inconsequential. The scam is still real and, significantly, taxpayers will still have a huge economic burden imposed on them through an executive order. And that’s where standing comes in.

Scott Johnson writes that it appears that the Pacific Legal Foundation’s lawsuit challenging the student loan scam may already be on the ropes:

President Biden’s student loan giveaway is blatantly illegal, but standing presents an obstacle to lawsuits challenging it. I noted the lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of Frank Garrison earlier this week. The Indiana federal district court has already denied Garrison’s motion for preliminary relief in an order that casts doubt on Garrison’s theory of standing.

Garrison’s theory about his right to assert the claim is predicated upon his particular situation, under various Indiana statutes. It’s clever, and probably accurate, but complicated, and the federal court doesn’t like it.

Let’s back up a minute, though, and look at standing. Under federal law, standing requires that the plaintiff show that he has or will imminently suffer an actual injury to a legally protected interest due to the defendant’s action and that the injury can be compensated or protected through judicial action.

The way I see it, Joe Biden is illegally using an executive order to create, at minimum, a $400 billion debt obligation against the federal government. Ultimately, that newly incurred debt can come from only one place: The taxpayers. As far as I’m concerned, Congress has clear standing to sue Biden for illegally incurring new debt. However, because the real creditor isn’t Congress but is, instead, every American who pays taxes (all 49% of us), I don’t see why we can’t argue that Biden’s illegal actions impose an actual injury to our legally protected economic interests—interests that can only be protected if the federal courts stop this illegality in its tracks.

That no court acts on this shows the reality about federal judges: Although you provide the money, the federal government writes their paychecks, and they will never do anything to rock that boat. Also, that I would even make this argument shows why I loathed practicing in federal court.

Image: Lady Justice.