Supreme Court To Hear Biden’s Appeal For Student Debt Forgiveness

December 2, 2022

The Supreme Court said on Thursday it will consider whether Republican-led states can challenge President Biden’s student debt plan this February, agreeing to hear the Administration’s appeal of a lower court order blocking the plan.

The Justice Department asked the high court to take quick action after the program was blocked in two federal courts in recent weeks. DOJ appealed the most recent ruling blocking the program, by a federal appeals court in St. Louis, where a three-judge panel from the 8th circuit court agreed to a preliminary injunction to halt the program.

That ruling came three days after the program was blocked by a federal judge in North Texas, who called the program “unlawful.” U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman said in court files that Biden didn’t follow federal procedures to allow for public comment prior to the policy’s announcement. 

The Supreme Court deferred the DOJ’s request for quick action, saying in a one-page order that the case will “be argued in the February 2023 argument session.”

Nor did any Justice note any dissent to the Court’s decision not to immediately grant the Biden Administration’s application to move forward with the debt relief program now.

Putting the case on the docket for the current Court term means a decision is likely by June, but possibly earlier.

Biden’s plan has promised $10,000 in federal student debt forgiveness to those with incomes of less than $125,000, or households earning less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients, who typically demonstrate more financial need, would be eligible for an additional $10,000 in relief.

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