Contemporary political stories offer a lot of education, if one can get over the personality-oriented attacks and instead focus on the institutions, the history, the economics, the ethics, and the so-called rules that those personalities might be attacking or sustaining.
Take, for example, the education one can get by noting the U.S. Department of Education's removal of its “Student Loan Debt Relief Applications” webpage, less than a day after U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, Judge Mark Pittman Thursday vacated Biden’s “Debt Forgiveness” Executive Order, a stunt Biden unilaterally pulled in August.
Breitbart’s Hannah Bleau reports on the Dept of Ed move and where things stand:
“’Courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn those orders,’ the website reads, adding that it is holding the applications of those who have already applied for relief.”
The case on which Judge Pittman ruled was Myra Brown et al, v. U.S. Dept of Education, et al and it hinged on the fact that Brown and fellow plaintiff Alexander Taylor both had loans that did not fall within the parameters of Biden’s August E.O.
Wrote Pittman Thursday:
“Plaintiffs Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor both have student loans. (…) Brown is ineligible for any debt forgiveness under the Program because her loans are commercially held. (…) And Taylor is ineligible for the full $20,000 in debt forgiveness under the Program because he did not receive a Pell Grant. (…) Because Brown loses out on $20,000 in debt forgiveness and Taylor loses out on $10,000, they disagree with the lines drawn for the Program’s eligibility criteria…”
First, the judge determined that the plaintiffs had standing to claim they were going to be harmed. That seems flimsy, at best. The non-conference of, or disproportionate offering of, a tax-subsidized blessing is not a loss.
So, perhaps that’s one of the early lessons we can learn from this case. After all, in asking for “debt relief,” the plaintiffs are asking us or our progeny (because the U.S. is in massive debt) to pay for it. Undoubtedly, the government will not grant us “relief” when their acquisitive horde of tax agents come banging on our bank account doors.
The second lesson we can derive stems from another portion of the judge’s ruling, in which, on page one, he states:
“The Constitution vests ‘all legislative powers’ in Congress. This power, however, can be delegated to the executive branch.”
The former observation is correct. But the latter claim is patently, manifestly, inarguably false – and that’s a very big deal.
The entire makeup of the three federal branches is such that one branch cannot delegate its so-called “power” to another. That’s why they are called the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches -- which is so basic a construct that even middle-school students get it. In fact, the president cannot take on legislative power. Collectively viewed, Executive Orders are a form of usurpation of the legislative “power” to pass statutes, and it stems from the troubling fact that Congress over the years has passed so many statutes creating federal offices, any president now can use those offices like little foot-soldiers, pawns, to do what he likes, as long as he can claim some excuse, such as a “pandemic emergency” – which isn’t an excuse, at all, because, again, no one in the federal government is granted any constitutional power to declare an “emergency” any more than they have the power to claim the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The powerful lesson in the judge’s absurd statement might be overlooked by some conservatives who otherwise are celebrating the fact that Biden’s Executive Order has been blocked. And that is a shame. Many conservatives – including the judge, who was appointed by Donald Trump – are focusing on the emptiness of Biden’s EO-claim that under the so-called HEROES Act (the title is an acronym derived from the 2020 “Higher Education Relief Opportunities For Students Act”) he was granted the power to have the Education Department wave or modify the debts students owe US agencies, the Department of Education, in particular. As Judge Pittman notes in his ruling, Biden’s lawyers claimed that HEROES allowed El Presidente to:
“…waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs under title IV of the Act [20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.] as the Secretary deems necessary in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency.”
Did anyone notice how Biden keeps extending the “National Emergency” – now through to April of 2023, despite him having no power to maintain it, and despite Donald Trump’s original March 13, 2020 claim of a “National Emergency” being a bald-faced claim of something a President has no constitutional or moral power to claim? One wonders if the pandering to college students as the Bidenistas try to push this issue to the Supreme Court has something to do with his extension of the nonsense.
Judge Pittman ruled that Biden was incorrect to include students with college debt on the same level as military personnel operating during war. And that seems logical. And, sure, at first blush it seems fair to offer a break from government debt for people fighting in wars. But in a volunteer military, that’s not really ethical, either, because the members of the military freely enter the military and freely take on whatever the debt in question might be.
Perhaps most important is what is missing from Judge Pittman’s ruling – a ruling which, undoubtedly, the Biden Administration will appeal, hence his extension of the “emergency.”
That’s the fact that the Department of Education is not sanctioned by the Constitution Judge Pittman, Joe Biden, and the members of Congress swore to “protect and defend." It’s not a federal matter. And neither is handing out “college loans” or “grants."
For a detailed analysis of how the federal government began unconstitutionally to build its “Education Edifice” – from its college loans and grants, to how those spur price inflation in colleges, to how they get the feds meddling in education content, to the feds getting involved in state and local education decisions, please feel free to read my 2017 piece on the topic for MRCTV.
After all, we’ll need to fill the time until the Biden Administration brings this case to the Supreme Court.
Or will it? Was this “debt help” that the judge vacated just a Biden stunt to attract young people for political reasons? That latter likely is right, but the Bidenistas might extend their shadow-play to keep up appearances, giving us time to teach others what the Constitution actually says.
Goodness knows, many people – including Judge Pittman – seem confused about that.