Tea Party Patriot Action’s Jenny Beth Martin: SCOTUS Likely Will Rule Biden Does Not Have Legal Authority to Forgive Student Loans

Feb 28, 2023

Live from Music Row, Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Action, Jenny Beth Martin to the newsmaker line to discuss today’s SCOTUS hearing which will address the power of the executive branch in regards to Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, our very good friend, the honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action, Jenny Beth Martin. Good morning, Jenny Beth!

Martin: Good morning, Michael. It’s so good to be with you.

Leahy: Jenny Beth before we get to our discussion of the Supreme Court contemplation and consideration of a lawsuit that would basically say the student loan giveaway program should not happen and is not constitutional. Before we get to that, just a little reminder.

I looked at the calendar. Today is February 28, 2023. You may recall, 14 years ago yesterday, on February 27, 2009, you and I and about two dozen other Tea Party activists organized the very first series of Tea Parties, I think in about 50 cities. We had had a bunch of folks turn out, and then that led to the big Tax Day Tea Party on April 15, 2009. Jenny Beth, we’ve been at this now for over 14 years.

Martin: It’s been a very long time. And Michael, your audience should know that the first round of Tea Party events would not have happened if you’d not started Top Conservatives on Twitter and found a way to start connecting people who were conservative on social media. It’s easy to take that for granted today.

You began that in 2008, right after the election, I believe, and that’s how I was able to get connected with others around the country and not just be connected with those in my own local, county, and state. So thank you for that.

Leahy: Isn’t it fascinating? You talk about Twitter. We did start Top Conservative on Twitter, and that’s how we connected all of what became the Tea Party activists. It started out with that. But what’s interesting, Twitter in 2009 was a lot different than Twitter in 2022 and now 2023, wasn’t it?

Martin: It really was, and there weren’t as many people on it. And I think that from a historical standpoint, the organizing that we did for those first rounds of Tea Parties was one of the first times Twitter had been used that way in such an organic manner.

And we’ve gone on to see that happen with many other movements and events around the entire world, frankly. But it’s easy to take for granted the way hashtags unite people now or trend and get news today. But back then, it was not an everyday occurrence.

Leahy: And you know what was interesting about that, Jenny Beth? When I started the Top Conservatives on the Twitter list and we started talking back and forth and having regular communications, I went from no followers on Twitter to like, 17,000, right?

And that was like, within six months. And then from mid-2009 to 2022, I went from 17,000 to like, 13,000. (Laughter) And only since Musk purchased Twitter and then I’ve been doing, as you have, a lot of appearances on WarRoom with Stephen K Bannon, now I’m back up to 16,800. So, you know, Twitter is a little more open than it was during that, I don’t know, you call it 12 years in the wilderness right between mid-2009 and 2021.

But it is fascinating how you and I have been working at this for 14 years, and now you’ve founded Tea Party Patriots, and now that you’re the honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action, there is a Supreme Court case on the Biden student loan forgiveness program. Bring us up to speed on that.

Martin: It’s happening today, actually. They will hear arguments on two related cases, Biden versus Nebraska and the Department of Education versus Brown. And the question is whether the executive branch has the authority on its own to cancel the student loan debt program.

And I would contend that that absolutely is not something that the executive branch can do because it’s taking away the power of the purse from Congress and putting it in the hands of the executive branch single-handedly without going through the law-making process of passing bills in Congress and then being signed into law.

And this is a very significant amount of money, but it’s more than just the amount of money. It’s about whether the executive branch has the right to do this and if they can do it with a student loan program and if the court decides this is constitutional and absolutely allowable, where will it stop?

I think that if this is allowed, what will eventually happen is that Congress will no longer have the power of the purse at all, which violates the balance of powers and the checks and balances written into the Constitution.

Leahy: My guess is that this will end up being both cases will be six-three losses for the Biden administration. Your thoughts on where you see this going?

Martin: I think so. And the reason for that is that we’ve already seen that the Supreme Court struck down mandates that are related to COVID. So we’ve already seen that they have done that. And very importantly, last year that they ruled in West Virginia versus the EPA that the executive branch, when they are taking actions that involve major economic and political significance, requires, the court said, clear congressional authorization. And on this particular loan forgiveness program or student loan debt giveaway, it does not have that clear authorization from Congress.

Leahy: Do we anticipate a Supreme Court ruling coming down in June on this?

Martin: That is what I would imagine. Now, I’m not a Supreme Court expert and I’m not an attorney, but usually, they do wait until June. And so I would imagine this would be one in June and probably one closer to the end of the month than the beginning of the month.

Leahy: Yes, that’s my take on it as well. Tell us a little bit about the agenda of Tea Party Patriots Action. What are the big issues that you’re working on?

Martin: As we look through the end of this year, in 2023, and through next year in 2024, we continue to work to secure elections. I think we still have a lot of work to do with that. But also it’s just a never-ending project because there are always more elections and we have to make sure that the elections are secure. So we are going to continue to work on that.

But I also want to win and I think it’s very important, important that we have faith in the outcome of the elections, regardless of who wins. And then as a conservative activist, I hate losing and I don’t want to see socialists control this country. So we’re working on both winning and securing elections.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Jenny Beth Martin” by Jenny Beth Martin. Background Photo “Supreme Court of the United States” by Adam Szuscik.