I hope the president puts a stop to this.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Joe Biden is going to the mat for former secretary of education Betsy DeVos.
In a Monday filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton and other DOJ attorneys argued that students who were ripped off by for-profit scam colleges cannot depose the former Trump-era official.
The [students] demand for a former cabinet officials deposition is extraordinary, unnecessary, and unsupported, the filing alleges. It is a transparent attempt at harassmentpart of a PR campaign that has been central to [the students] litigation strategy from the outset. It should be rejected and the court should quash the subpoena.
Making common cause with the DOJ in the motion to quash is another Trump-era official: former acting associate attorney general Jesse Panuccio. Now an attorney with elite law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Panuccio is acting as DeVoss personal attorney and is represented in her capacity as former U.S. Secretary of Education by the U.S. Department of Justice, the filing explains in a footnote.
Don't expect this to be different.
Going against students who were ripped off is going to anger a lot of people. This is unjust and it should be stopped immediately.
As a matter of law, the Biden administration does not have to take on DeVoss representation here. The DOJ picks and chooses whether to represent present and former officialsbut they are not bound by any rules, regulations or federal statues to do so. Additionally, there does not appear to be any extant legal authority for the DOJ to represent DeVos here in her personal capacity because shes not actually a party to the underlying litigation. In order for DOJ to represent DeVos like this, the agency is supposed to initially file a statement of interest but no such document has been filed in the case.
The underlying case concerns hundreds of students who were defrauded by various for-profit colleges across the country. The students, all federal student loan borrowers who are currently in debt, sued the U.S. Department of Education because DeVoss agency was accused of serially dragging its feet when asked to process student loan debt cancellation requests.
Multiple courts in the Northern District of California agreed with the students. DeVos herself ultimately admitted that student borrowers had paid for educational programs that were effectively worthless.
It was Dotard who disregarded court orders.
The law is what it is - it is not impossible they are wrong, not just because we don't like DeVos.
When they are sued in their government capacity, they are defended. These happen all the time. Any government agency can be sued, and the officials in their government capacity. In the end, it is an argument over something the agency did. It would be impossible for each Secretary to have to be deposed for every lawsuit - it's all they would do all day. There are probably thousands of lawsuits against her in her capacity as Sec. of Education, and there will be against Biden's.
Devoss in this case. She already has a private lawyer representing her. These students are trying to get back the money that the Dept of Education garnished from their accounts after the course already told them to stop, and they disregarded the court's order. There is no reason for the DOJ to be on the side of Devoss. Biden has aready removed the DOJ out of other lawsuits, so there is no reason he cannot do this for these students. This is a no brainer.
I don't know the exact rules, but I don't think you do either. I do not think Biden is supporting or trying to help DeVos in any way.