“Defendants have not provided evidence that they were unable to comply with the preliminary injunction, and the evidence shows only minimal efforts to comply with the preliminary injunction,” Kim wrote. “The court therefore finds defendants in civil contempt.”
Kim warned that the court “will impose additional sanctions” if the Education Department continues to violate the injunction.
Toby Merrill, the director of Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, which represents the former Corinthian students, praised Kim’s ruling in a statement to Politico.
“It’s a rare and powerful action by the court to hold the secretary in contempt,” said Merrill. “And it reflects the extreme harm that Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education have caused students who were already defrauded by a for-profit college.”
After Kim warned DeVos earlier this month that she could be held in contempt for violating the court order to stop collecting loans from former students of Corinthian Colleges, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted that DeVos would “rather risk sanctions or even jail than do her job to help America’s students.”
“The Department of Education needs to follow the law and cancel the student loans of scammed Corinthian Colleges students,” said Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. “And if Betsy DeVos wants to work for predatory for-profit colleges, she should resign and find herself a new job.”
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