Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

The Justice Department indicated Thursday that it plans to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate a Biden administration plan that would provide student loan forgiveness to millions of Americans. This comes after the plan has been blocked by two separate federal court rulings.

On Monday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals became the latest to block the Biden administration’s debt relief program. In a filing Thursday, the Biden administration indicated that it plans to appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court.

“The government will be filing an application with the Supreme Court to vacate a separate injunction against the Secretary’s action entered by the Eighth Circuit earlier this week,” the court filing from the Justice Department reads.

The disclosure was made in a filing for a separate case appealing a Nov. 10 ruling from a federal judge in Texas who also blocked the student loan relief plan, calling it “unlawful.” The Biden administration is asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the Texas judge’s decision.

On Nov. 11, the Biden administration announced that it had stopped taking applications for the relief program in response to the Texas judge’s ruling. The Education Department said it will hold the applications for the roughly 26 million people who have already applied for forgiveness.

The ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals came in response to a lawsuit jointly filed by six Republican-led states that argued the Biden administration was overstepping its executive powers.

The ruling from the Texas judge was in response to a lawsuit from a conservative group called the Job Creators Network Foundation, which argued the Biden administration violated federal procedures by failing to seek public input on the program.

President Biden announced in August that his administration is canceling up to $20,000 in student loan debt for millions of Americans. Nearly 20 million people will be eligible to have their debt fully canceled under the new plan.

Borrowers who received Pell Grants, aid for eligible low- and middle-income families, can get as much as $20,000 in debt forgiven, while other borrowers can get relief of up to $10,000.

Only individuals who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and married couples with total annual income below $250,000 are eligible for loan relief under the program.

— Caroline Linton and Aimee Picchi contributed reporting. 



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