Albany, NY — The Empire Center and the Government Justice Center (GJC) filed an amicus brief yesterday with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Biden v. Nebraska, a case that will determine whether President Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan is constitutional. The Centers filed their brief to stress the importance of the judicial branch’s role in maintaining separation of powers and enforcing the constitutional rule of law.

The Centers’ brief, written by Troutman, Pepper, Hamilton, Sanders head of Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Misha Tseytlin, reads, in part: “The Plan is the latest example in an increasing pattern of Executive Branch lawlessness, where Presidents and bureaucrats have unilaterally doled out allegedly ‘free’ benefits to millions of citizens across the country, with no legal basis…”

Litigants in states like New York need strong precedents from SCOTUS, the highest court in the nation, to ensure their ability to keep state legislative and executive branches from acting outside the bounds of their state constitutions. Last year, for example, it took the New York State Court of Appeals to stop a redistricting process and plan where the Legislature and Governor Hochul ran roughshod over the state Constitution.

The Centers contend that the implementation of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan is a perfect example of why the court’s standing doctrine should not be applied narrowly, and that SCOTUS must take action under this unique circumstance to enforce and maintain a separation of powers.

“There should be no doubt that Missouri has standing to challenge the student debt cancellation plan,” said Cameron Macdonald, executive director of the Government Justice Center. “But the court’s standing doctrine also should not be so limited as to undermine the separation of powers and create an incentive for executive lawlessness.”

The full amicus brief can be read here.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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