A U.S. District Court in Texas on Thursday night blocked President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program on the grounds that the administration didn’t have the authority to act.
The fresh injunction is in addition to a block from the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which put the program on hold nearly three weeks ago while it considered a separate lawsuit brought by six states challenging the program and the president’s authority to act. 
Blocked:Federal appeals court puts Biden student debt relief plan on hold
The administration has said it can offer far-reaching loan forgiveness under a 2003 law that allows for such measures during national emergencies. In this case, that emergency is the pandemic.
The Texas case was brought by the Job Creators Network Foundation, which describes itself as “a nonpartisan organization founded by entrepreneurs who believe the best defense against bad government policies is a well-informed public.”
“In this case, the HEROES Act – a law to provide loan assistance to military personnel defending our nation – does not provide the executive branch clear congressional authorization to create a $400 billion student loan forgiveness program,” wrote the judge in the case, Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. “The Program is thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated.”
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“The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country,” the opinion continues. “But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved. And having interpreted the HEROES Act, the Court holds that it does not provide ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the Program proposed by the Secretary.”
The Job Creators Network Foundation praised the ruling, noting it doesn’t get to what it said is the real reason so many people carry student loan debt.
“This attempted illegal student loan bailout would have done nothing to address the root cause of unaffordable tuition: greedy and bloated colleges that raise tuition far more than inflation year after year while sitting on $700 billion in endowments,” said Elaine Parker, president of Job Creators Network Foundation. “We hope that the court’s decision today will lay the groundwork for real solutions to the student loan crisis.”
At least 26 million people have applied for one-time student loan debt relief, under a plan the president announced in August. It would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 or households with less than $250,000 in income. People who received Pell Grants in college would have another $10,000 in debt forgiven.