The Biden administration filed an emergency appeal at the Supreme Court on Friday, asking for the reinstatement of the president’s student loan forgiveness plan, which was blocked by a federal appeals court.
In court papers, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar urged the justices to lift an injunction imposed by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, NBC News reports. Additionally, a federal judge in Texas in a different case has also blocked the plan.
“The Eighth Circuit’s erroneous injunction leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, uncertain about the size of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations,” said Prelogar in the appeal.
Various individuals and groups have challenged the proposal, with the case now at the Supreme Court involving claims brought by six states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina. According to NBC, These states argue the administration does not have authority to forgive student loan debt. And, that they would be financially harmed by canceling billions in student loan debt.
A federal judge had ruled that the states did not have legal standing, but the appeals court disagreed, focusing on a Missouri agency that services federal student loans. The state argues that the agency would lose revenue if loans are forgiven.
Since the appeals court placed a temporary hold on the program last month, it has been blocked. The application process has since been closed by the administration. Borrowers are not currently required to make payments under another Covid-related presidential order.
Challengers of the program contend that the administration’s plan, which Biden announced in August and was initially scheduled to go into effect this fall, violates the Constitution and federal law, mainly because it does not follow the will of Congress, which they say has the authority to make laws related to student loan forgiveness
Biden’s student debt relief program would cancel up to $10,000 in debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year (or couples filing joint tax returns and earning less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients, who make up the majority of borrowers, are eligible for additional $10,000 in debt relief. Overall, the program is expected to help more than 40 million borrowers, the administration has said.