On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected a challenge from a group of Wisconsin taxpayers to President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program.
The group made the argument that the president overstepped his authority on the measure that could cost up to $1 trillion. However, Barrett, who was appointed under former President Trump, denied the Brown County Taxpayers Association’s emergency application without comment or without referring the application to the full court. The denial indicates that the lawsuit’s supporters lacked the ability to show they suffered direct injury.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, which filed the suit on behalf of the individuals, argued Biden exceeded his authority to use the 2003 HEROES Act, which allows the education secretary to make amendments to financial assistance programs for students “in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency.”
The challengers were pushing for the Supreme Court to block the program while an appeal plays out in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Of course, we are disappointed that the court denied us emergency relief,” Dan Lennington, WILL deputy counsel, told the Washington Examiner in a statement. “But that does not make the program lawful. Student loan forgiveness will remain under review by the courts and could possibly still be paused as we advocated for this week.”
Biden claimed that the COVID pandemic was one of the primary reasons behind his decision to extend the moratorium on federal student loan payments and his reasoning to forgive thousands of dollars of debt for each individual borrower.
In August, the president announced that he plans to forgive $10,000 for student loan borrowers making under $125,000 annually and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office claims the plan to cancel outstanding student debt will cost the country roughly $400 billion, but another budget model estimated the cost as being nearly $1 trillion.
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