Conservative US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday declined to block President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive $400 billion in student loans less than a week after the White House began accepting applications for relief program.
Barrett, who is responsible for acting on emergency matters arising in Wisconsin, rejected a request from the state’s Brown County Taxpayers Association to halt the White House’s historic program.
The justice did not provide a reason for blocking the organization’s lawsuit. Barrett also did not ask Biden’s administration for a response to the group’s request or consult other justices before handing down the decision.
The Brown County Taxpayers Association, who argued the loan forgives plan would cost millions in taxpayer dollars, filed the suit Oct. 4. Lower courts quickly threw out the case for lacking necessary legal standing and proof that the loan forgiveness personally harmed the association.
A federal judge threw out a similar case led by six Republican states an hour after Barrett rejected Wisconsin’s case.
US District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis said that while the case against loan forgiveness — brought by Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina — had raised “important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan,” it lacked the necessary legal standing to be able to pursue the case.
The lawsuits were just two of the many legal challenges protesting Biden’s plan under the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, which allows the government to modify or waive federal student loans during war or national emergency, which Biden classifies the pandemic as.
The Congressional Budget Office in September calculated that debt forgiveness would cost the government about $400 billion.
The White House began beta testing the forgiveness applications last Friday by intermittently launching the page on StudentAid.gov.
With Post Wires