Federal appeals court temporarily blocks Biden’s student loan forgiveness program

(The Hill) — A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the continuation of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program following an appeal from six GOP-led states, multiple news outlets reported.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled on Friday that the policy of writing off thousands of dollars in student loan debt should be put on hold while the challenges unfold.

The Biden administration must respond to the case in the appeals court by Monday evening.

Biden’s plan would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year. Those who received Pell Grants could receive up to $20,000 in relief.

The decision comes after a federal district judge on Thursday dismissed the states’ lawsuit, ruling they lacked standing to sue.

The president announced earlier Friday that more than 22 million people had applied for student loan debt forgiveness after the request was released earlier this week.

Attorneys general originally filed the lawsuit in September, arguing that the Biden administration lacks the authority to cancel the debt because Congress has not authorized it.

But US District Judge Henry Autry ruled they failed to show they were directly harmed by the relief, which is necessary to meet the standard of having standing. He noted that they presented “significant and significant” challenges to Biden’s plan.

Multiple legal challenges have been filed against the loan forgiveness plan. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday rejected an emergency offer from a Wisconsin taxpayer group to block the plan.

The Biden administration has argued that it is authorized to cancel debt through the Higher Education Opportunities for Students Act of 2003. The legislation allows the Secretary of Education to forgive student borrower debt during times of “national emergency”.


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