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Federal courts to Joe Biden: You're no king!

Historic Supreme Court ruling this summer has empowered judges to rein in Biden executive actions not authorized by Congress.

November 10, 2022 9:50pm

Updated: November 11, 2022 12:44am

Emboldened by a historic Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, federal courts from coast to coast are erasing Joe Biden's efforts to expand his executive powers to encompass everything from imposing vaccine mandates to canceling personal debt without Congress' blessing.

With each ruling, judges are sending an unmistakable message to the 46th president: America has no kings under its Constitution.  

Biden's latest repudiation came Thursday night in Texas, where a judge offered a history lesson ripped from the Federalist Papers in striking down the administration's student loan forgiveness plan that would have shifted more than $400 billion in personal debt to taxpayers without the blessing of Congress.

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman called Biden's election year gift to young voters the most egregious abuse of executive power in presidential history, equating it to the sort of tyranny the Founding Fathers sought to eradicate with the Constitution.

"In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone," the Trump-appointed jurist wrote. "Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government. As President James Madison warned, 'the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.'"

While the most colorful of the recent rulings against Biden, Pittman's message was nearly identical to those in district and appellate courts across the United States this year.

The judgments against executive overreach have become sharper and more frequent since June, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic West Virginia v. EPA decision, which declared a Democrat effort to restrain coal power carbon emissions could not use executive fiat to create law that Congress did not approve.

In September, U.S District Judge Terry A. Doughty in Louisiana ruled the Biden administration could not require Head Start program teachers, staff, and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, nor can it require adults or students to wear masks. That ruling permanently enjoined the vaccine and mask mandate in 24 states.

"The public interest is served by maintaining the constitutional structure and the liberty of individuals who do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine," Doughty wrote.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court used a similar rationale when it struck down the Biden administration's Occupational Safety and Health Administration order requiring private businesses to impose vaccine or testing requirements on their employees.

"OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate," the majority justices wrote. "Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here."

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told the "Just the News, No Noise" television program Thursday that the courts are sending a consistent message to the Biden administration.

“We've given far too much power to the executive branch. That's one of the few things that I think Hamilton and Jefferson probably would have agreed on with Madison and the other framers of the Constitution,” he said.

”We didn't want an executive who was like the king. We wanted an executive who was independent who can't be impeached, except for serious crimes like treason and bribery. But we don't want to give them the power to decide issues that should be decided by the legislature,” he added.

Pittman's decision Thursday came in a case brought by two Americans and supported by the small business group Job Creators Network.

"Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine," the judge wrote. "Still, no one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States." 

Specifically, Pittman concluded that Biden's plan violated the separation of powers in the Constitution. 

"The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country," he wrote. "But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved."

Job Creators Network President Alfredo Ortiz, whose group brought the cases that resulted in both the student loan and private vaccine mandate rulings, hailed the latest decision.

"This ruling protects the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government," Ortiz told Just the News. "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.

"We hope that the court's decision today will lay the groundwork for real solutions to the student loan crisis."

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