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Student loan debt relief under threat by US Supreme Court

by Deon Osborne, Associate Editor
Student loan debt relief under threat by US Supreme Court
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Applications for federal student loan debt relief are now open, but a Wisconsin group is asking the US Supreme Court to strike it down as unconstitutional.

The Brown County Taxpayers Association on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block Biden’s student loan debt relief plan while a separate challenge to the plan plays out in a lower court.

The emergency request was filed to Justice Amy Coney, who oversees filings from Wisconsin, the Hill reported on Wednesday.

The group wants the Court to rule that Biden’s nationwide debt cancellation plan infringes on Congress’s exclusive spending power.

“The assault on our separation of powers — and upon the principle that the spending power is vested solely in Congress — is extraordinary, and perhaps unprecedented,” they wrote in court papers. “We are witnessing a gargantuan increase in the national debt accomplished by a complete disregard for limitations on the constitutional spending authority,” the challengers wrote.

Student loan debt relief applications open as challenge heads to Supreme Court

Nearly two years into his presidency, Biden made history when he announced in August the forgiveness of $10,000 in student loan debt and another $10,000 for Pell grant recipients. Applications opened this week, bringing relief to millions across the country.

The White House argues their plan is authorized by the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (HEROES Act), a 2003 law that both Trump and Biden have used numerous times to push back student loan payments during the pandemic.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the plan will cost $400 billion over 30 years. Meanwhile, Americans hold a combined $1.7 trillion in student loan debt, which prevents many from starting families, businesses and contributing further to society.

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin taxpayers group filed a lawsuit in federal court against Biden’s plan. A U.S. District Judge dismissed the suit over a lack of standing, and the group has appealed that ruling.

“There is no legal justification for this presidential usurpation of the constitutional spending power, which is reserved exclusively for Congress,” they wrote. 

In total, at least five GOP-led lawsuits have been filed against Biden’s plan, according to Business Insider.

Despite the legal threats to the plan, the White House is still encouraging American who qualify to apply for student loan debt cancellation as the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.

“We’re moving full steam ahead to implement this form and sharing with you this simple and straightforward process,” a White House official told reporters earlier this week.

To apply for student loan debt relief, visit the US Department of Education’s federal student aid website.

4 comments

Op-ed: Wisconsin group's misplaced lawsuit against student loan forgiveness October 20, 2022 - 2:46 pm

[…] from Wisconsin, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, filed a petition with the Supreme Court to block the administration’s student loan forgiveness program while an appeal plays out in a lower […]

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Op-ed: Wisconsin group’s misplaced lawsuit against student loan forgiveness - UDOYOU October 21, 2022 - 10:36 am

[…] from Wisconsin, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, filed a petition with the Supreme Court to block the administration’s student loan forgiveness program while an appeal plays out in a lower […]

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22 million Americans have requested student loan forgiveness October 21, 2022 - 4:58 pm

[…] to approve student loan forgiveness for those making less than $125,000 a year, at least two lawsuits seeking to stop the plan have failed as of […]

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Appeals Court ruling puts pause on student debt forgiveness November 14, 2022 - 3:25 pm

[…] federal judge on Oct. 20 allowed the program to proceed, but the 8th Circuit the next day temporarily put it on hold while […]

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