WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos A federal judge ruled that she must testify in a class action suit about her handling of requests for forgiveness of student loans, which resulted in delays in the administration’s decision and the final rejection of a significant number of applications.
In a 12-page ruling, Judge William Alsup rejected a motion to have the cabinet secretary’s subpoena quashed, writing that “exceptional circumstances” required her to sit in court.
The ruling, first published by Politiko magazine, says the circumstances “require the removal of Secretary DeVos by three hours, not counting interruptions,” although he admitted that it is “rarely” for courts to allow the removal of cabinet secretaries.
Elsup, who sits on the U.S. District Court for Northern California, wrote that former presidents had to obey subpoenas, including Richard Nixon, who was ordered to provide White House tapes, and Bill Clinton, who was supposed to provide videotaped testimony during an independent lawyer. Kenneth Starr’s investigation.
“If the trial goes to the presidents, it goes to the cabinet secretaries, especially the former ones,” Alsup wrote. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court demands some respect for the heads of departments summoned to explain their actions. “
A lawsuit was filed by 160,000 student loan borrowers who claim to be defrauded by commercial colleges and asked the Department of Education to forgive the student loan. However, the department suspended final decisions for 18 months, and as soon as it started accepting them again, refusal letters were sent out at an “alarming rate,” the judge wrote.
Alsup said the tape showed that DeVos was personally involved in the decision-making process, and said lawyers in the lawsuit would ask “whether the former secretary ordered her subordinates to stop making decisions to protect the student loan borrower or she tacitly approved of the once-apparent stop. “.
He also said there are questions about the “sudden flood of blanket-shaped rejection letters.”
The judge allows a two-week hiatus in the issuance of an order in case of an appeal. He also scheduled a hearing on the claim on June 3.