Supreme Court ready to hear case on Biden student loan forgiveness program

Washington — The Supreme Court said Thursday it would open a court battle between the Biden administration and a coalition of six Republican-led states challenging the legality of the president’s decision. student loan forgiveness program,

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prologer last month asked the Supreme Court to lift an injunction from a federal appeals court that blocked implementation of the plan, but told the court that if it denied relief, it would consider the merits of the case. Must agree to do.

The court, in a brief order, said it would hear the arguments in February but put the program on hold for the time being. Last week, President Biden extend your break on federal student loan payments by June 30, 2023, to give the court time to consider the dispute.

The high court order came in an ongoing legal battle by six Republican-led states challenging Mr. Biden’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in student-loan relief to millions of borrowers. Among the states suing the administration over the program are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

A three-judge panel of federal appeals court in St. Louis sided with the states and earlier this month issued an injunction blocking the plan, after the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene.

Solicitor General, ProLogger told the Supreme Court, “The Eighth Circuit’s erroneous injunction leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, unsure of the size of their loans and without an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations and financial burdens.” Unable to decide.” a filing.

mr biden announced In August he announced plans to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans for Americans earning less than $125,000 a year, and an additional $10,000 for Pell Grant recipients, which are awarded to students with the greatest financial need. According to the Department of Education, more than 26 million people have already applied for pardons, and 16 million applications have been approved.

The White House estimated that up to 43 million borrowers would be provided relief under the administration’s plan, of which about 20 million would have their outstanding debt canceled entirely.

Following the announcement of the loan forgiveness plan, the Departments of Justice and Education issued memos detailing the legal right to student loan cancellation, relying on a 2003 law called the HEROES Act enacted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The law, the Biden administration argued in the memo, vested Education Secretary Miguel Cardona with the authority to provide relief to federal student loan recipients during national emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the relief program quickly faced legal challenges from states, Wisconsin taxpayers and conservative groups, who argued the Biden administration overstepped its authority. In its lawsuit filed in federal district court in Missouri, the six-state coalition said the plan would harm revenue earned from federal student loans.

Missouri court dismisses lawsuit for lack of legal standing, but US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit states requested To block implementation of the plan, prohibiting the Department of Education from discharging any student loan debt under the program.

In asking the Supreme Court to lift the 8th Circuit’s injunction, ProLogger argued that the states do not have legal standing to challenge the student loan program, because it “provides benefits” to third parties and does not give states any Does not cause harm in any way.

He also insisted that federal law authorize the secretary to change federal student loan provisions in response to national emergencies, and that both the Trump and Biden administrations invoked the HEROES Act to issue relief to borrowers during the pandemic. .

“On the merits, the plan falls within the plain text of the Secretary’s statutory authority,” ProLogger told the court. “Indeed, the entire purpose of the HEROES Act is to authorize the Secretary to provide student-loan-related relief to at-risk borrowers due to a national emergency – which is exactly what the Secretary did here.”

But in a filing in response to the Biden administration’s request, six states argued that they have a legal right to sue in part because of the loss in tax revenue they would suffer if the plan were reinstated. He also reiterated in the Supreme Court that student loan cancellation and its scope exceed the authority of the Education Secretary.

“The Act requires genuine regard for a national emergency,” wrote the states’ top officials. “But the department’s reliance on the COVID-19 pandemic is an excuse to sidestep the president’s true goal of fulfilling his campaign promise of erasing student-loan debt.”

The injunction from the 8th Circuit came just days after a federal district judge in Texas found the student loan relief plan illegal, barring the department from canceling any loans. The Biden administration has appealed against that decision and has asked the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to block the District Court ruling.

It was announced by the Biden administration in response to the Texas court’s decision. stopped accepting applications for debt relief program

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