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Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Cato Institute v. Cardona

On behalf of the Cato Institute and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, NCLA filed a lawsuit to stop President Biden’s utter disregard for federal law and the Constitution. Moving on an accelerated schedule to deter court review, the Department of Education announced its unlawful new scheme before the ink was dry on the Supreme Court opinion striking down its old $430 billion student loan debt cancellation plan.

The new scheme aims to immediately wipe out $39 billion of student loan debt owed to the U.S. Treasury by more than 800,000 people under the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) program by crediting non-payments during periods of forbearance as monthly payments. The plan would cancel even more debt prematurely at taxpayer expense for another 2.8 million IDR borrowers in the future. The Department has no lawful authority to do this.

NCLA argues the U.S. Department of Education’s actions violate the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause, which grants Congress near-exclusive authority to cancel debt owed to the Treasury. Instead of promulgating the plan through the required notice-and-comment and negotiated rulemaking process under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Department simply issued a press release that did not identify any laws to justify it.

Joseph G. Lehman, President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Mark Chenoweth
President and Chief Legal Officer
Sheng Li
Litigation Counsel
Russ Ryan
Senior Litigation Counsel

Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

May 17, 2024 | Read More

Plaintiffs-Appellants’ Reply Brief

January 11, 2024 | Read More

Plaintiffs-Appellants’ Opening Brief

October 10, 2023 | Read More

Order Dismissing Without Prejudice Plaintiffs’ Complaint and Denying as Moot Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order

August 14, 2023 | Read More

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction

August 7, 2023 | Read More


NCLA Asks Appeals Court to Block Unlawful Biden Scheme Trying to Cancel Student Loan Debt

October 10, 2023 | Read More

NCLA Suit for Cato and Mackinac Center Contests Biden’s New Student Loan Debt Canceling Scheme

August 4, 2023 | Read More




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