WaPo: Republicans — and SCOTUS — readying a legal pounce on Biden’s Academia bailout

Source: Hot Air

No action yet, but everyone knows it’s coming. The only question is how to find a plaintiff — and better yet — a plaintiff with standing and some intestinal fortitude — to front the effort. The Washington Post oddly treats this as a Republican “pounce” and a potential Supreme Court extremist pounce as well, though, when lawsuits over executive actions are fairly routine:

In recent days, a number of GOP attorneys general from states including Arizona, Missouri and Texas have met privately to discuss a strategy that could see multiple cases filed in different courts around the country, according to a person familiar with their thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the confidential talks.

Other influential conservatives — including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and allies of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank — are mulling their own options as they ratchet up criticism of Biden’s debt-relief plan, two additional people familiar with the matter said. And a conservative advocacy group founded by a major Trump donor said it would file a lawsuit against the policy. …

All of the sources cautioned that no decisions have been made — and as of Thursday morning, no lawsuits appeared to have been filed. But a legal battle could carry stark financial consequences for millions of student borrowers, who rejoiced last week after Democrats delivered on a long-standing promise to erase some of their debt.

The possible litigation also raises the prospect of a broader, precedent-setting courtroom tussle over the scope of the president’s economic authority. Such a lawsuit could reach the Supreme Court, thrusting it back into the spotlight after it infuriated Democrats by stripping abortion protections and limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to respond to climate change.

That’s a reference to West Virginia v EPA, which most certainly did not “strip” the EPA of any valid authority granted to it via its enabling statute. The authority didn’t exist in the first place. The Supreme Court ruled that Congress never granted the EPA the authority to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which is not a pollutant but a regularly occurring trace element in the atmosphere. Executive-branch agencies cannot unilaterally expand their jurisdictions and authority; Congress has to act to do that, and Congress still has not yet taken up the question.

That’s precisely what the issue is here, too. Joe Biden’s claiming authority under the HEROES Act to spend at least $600 billion and perhaps more than a trillion dollars to pay off student-loan debt. However, the HEROES Act never authorized the permanent retirement of that debt, but only enough money to temporarily cover the student loan payments during the pandemic, when many loan recipients might not have been able to work. Congress also authorized a finite appropriation for that purpose in the HEROES Act, too — $45 billion, much or all of which had presumably been spent during the actual emergency.

If Biden wants a trillion dollars to pay off student-loan debt, he needs Congress to appropriate it under the terms of the Constitution. Why isn’t the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” newspaper pointing that out?

The Washington Post is trying to pre-spin a lawsuit as an extreme response, when in fact Joe Biden took the extreme, authoritarian, and unconstitutional action. The courts are a legitimate check on that attempt to get around Congress’ exclusive constitutional authority to appropriate funds. The Post is trying to sell this take on Twitter too, but not too many are buying it:

That’s precisely what Biden is doing. And it’s precisely what the Washington Post is attempting to facilitate, under its “Democracy Dies in Darkness” banner. That’s grotesque.