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Wilson: Student loan ruling ‘a huge win for South Carolina’

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(The Center Square) — South Carolina’s attorney general called a federal judge’s decision to block part of President Joe Biden’s latest push to delay or cancel roughly half a trillion dollars in student debt “a huge win for South Carolina.”

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas and U.S. District Judge John Ross in Missouri issued separate rulings halting Biden’s plan, dubbed the Saving on a Valuable Education — or SAVE — Plan. Republican attorneys general, including South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, filed a lawsuit challenging the plan.

“This is a huge win for South Carolina as a judge ruled with us in the fight against the Biden administration’s illegal student loan forgiveness,” Wilson said in a statement.

“In response to our lawsuit challenging the SAVE student loan repayment plan, a court entered an order that forbids implementing the parts that were scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024,” Wilson added. “Many families are feeling the daily effects of inflation, and I will continue fighting to ensure others’ student loan payments aren’t put on the backs of taxpayers.”

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed Biden’s previous plan to cancel student debt payments. The earlier attempt aimed to use 2003’s Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act to forgive billions of dollars in debt.

Monday’s ruling did not “unwind” elements of the SAVE Plan that have already taken effect.

“Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit long after defendants already had implemented those aspects of the SAVE Plan, so the court doesn’t see how plaintiffs can complain of irreparable harm from them,” Crabtree wrote in a memorandum and order. “Nor have plaintiffs explained how a preliminary injunction could unwind the parts of the SAVE Plan already in effect. But the court grants plaintiffs’ request to enjoin those aspects of the SAVE Plan not yet implemented.

“The court emphasizes one more thing about its decision,” Crabtree added. “This Order does not decide whether student loan forgiveness is good policy or bad policy. The popularly elected branches of our government—the President and the Congress — properly control that decision. Thus, no one should read this Order to take a position on that question because our Constitution doesn’t assign any part of it to the federal courts.”

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