Judge Amy Coney Barrett denies bid to block Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan from going into effect


Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday rejected a challenge to the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program, declining to accept an appeal. Brought by a group of Wisconsin taxpayers.

The order is currently a victory for President Joe Biden, though there are other challenges on the way to the high court.

Up to $20,000 worth of student loan cancellations can begin Sunday for eligible borrowers.

The appeal at issue was considered an uphill battle because lower courts ruled that the group, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, lacked the legal right or “standing” to bring the challenge. Under normal circumstances, taxpayers do not have a general right to sue over the government’s use of taxpayer funds.

Barrett acted alone because the lower court that ruled on the case had jurisdiction. She declined to refer the matter to the full court. Her denial appeared as a single sentence in court documents.

A federal district court judge It rejected a separate lawsuit brought by six Republican-led states Thursday because the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to bring the challenge.

Plaintiffs in that case asked a federal judge to put the student loan cancellation on hold pending a final ruling in the case.

The states are expected to appeal immediately. That will send the case to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, where it is likely to face a conservative panel of judges.

The Biden administration is also facing lawsuits from Arizona Attorney General Mark Bronovich and conservative groups such as the Job Creators Network Foundation and the Cato Institute.

Several legal challenges say the Biden administration lacks the legal authority to broadly cancel student loan debt.

Attorneys for the government argue that Congress gave the education secretary the authority to collect the debt in a 2003 law known as the HEROES Act.

Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, first announced in August, aims to provide debt relief to millions of borrowers before federal student loan payments resume in January after a nearly three-year, pandemic-related pause.

At the time of application Officially opened on MondayThe Biden administration has agreed in court documents to hold off on canceling any debt until Oct. 23. Once processing begins, most eligible borrowers are expected to receive debt relief within weeks.

Under Biden’s plan, eligible individual borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who earned less than $250,000 annually in those years would have up to $10,000 of their federal student loans forgiven.

If the qualifying borrower also has a federal Bell Grant While attending college, the individual is eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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