A federal judge in Texas has struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, declaring it illegal.
The lawsuit was filed by a conservative group, the Job Creators Network Foundation, in October on behalf of two borrowers who did not qualify for debt relief.
Biden’s program was already on hold due to a separate legal challenge.
The Biden administration has argued that Congress has given the secretary of education the power to broadly discharge student loan debt in a 2003 law known as the HEROES Act.
But the Texas federal judge found that the law does not provide the executive branch clear congressional authorization to create the student loan forgiveness program.
“The program is thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated,” wrote Judge Mark Pittman, who was nominated by then-President Donald Trump.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” he continued.
The Justice Department said Thursday that it would appeal the decision, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that “we strongly disagree with the District Court’s ruling on our student debt relief program.”
“For the 26