Biden DOJ tries to shield DeVos from deposition in lawsuit over student loans
The Biden administration attempted to prevent former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from testifying in a class-action lawsuit that alleges the Department of Education ineffectively managed thousands of student loans.
Oral arguments seeking to block DeVos’s testimony were presented on Wednesday before a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit after U.S. District Judge William Alsup decided in May that DeVos would be required to testify for the case.
At the request of the class-action lawsuit’s plaintiffs, Alsup found that “extraordinary circumstances” justified the rare deposition of a former secretary.
The Biden administration appealed Alsup’s decision, arguing that the “firmly established” policy that says “heads of government agencies are not normally subject to deposition” should be applied in this case.
The original class action case claims the Education Department refused to process borrower defense claims, which permit loan forgiveness from the federal government if a school misleads students or violates state law.
DeVos has long faced controversy for her policies about borrowing and student loan forgiveness.
“The Department’s abdication of its responsibility is not a neutral choice,” the lawsuit said. “Its decision to keep over 160,000 students in limbo—some for over four years—has damaged students’ credit and limited their access to federal student aid.”
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