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Brown County lawsuit to stop Biden student loan forgiveness plan goes to U.S. Supreme Court

United States Supreme Court 1
Posted at 2:39 PM, Oct 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-19 15:39:36-04

BROWN COUNTY (NBC 26) — A lawsuit filed on behalf of the Brown County Taxpayers Association is now going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty says it asked the United States Supreme Court to temporarily pause the Biden Administration’s student loan forgiveness program, which is expected to start this Sunday.

WILL’s lawsuit was first filed in the federal district court in Wisconsin on October 4. The court dismissed the lawsuit based on standing, WILL said. After that suit was dismissed, WILL and BCTA asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene. The court denied the motion late last week. The case remains on appeal at the Seventh Circuit, according to WILL.

WILL says their effort to appeal to the Supreme Court is "critical" because the Department of Education will start automatically canceling student loan debts beginning Sunday.

"By effectively zeroing out tens of millions of accounts, federal officials may render all lawsuits challenging this program moot, because once a loan is canceled or forgiven, it is unlikely to be undone," WILL said in a news release issued Wednesday.

Previous reports state the Biden administration argued that the plan is on solid legal ground.

In its legal justification for debt cancellation, the Biden administration invoked the HEROES Act of 2003, which aimed to provide help to members of the military. The law gives the administration "sweeping authority" to reduce or eliminate student debt during a national emergency, the Justice Department said in an August legal opinion.

WILL argues that the Biden Administration has no Congressional authorization to forgive loans, stating that the HEROES Act only permits the Department of Education to waive student loan rules in a very limited way in response to national emergencies.

On Monday, the Department of Education officially launched the student debt forgiveness program application process following the successful launch of its beta site over the weekend.

The Biden administration said eligible borrowers could apply for up to $20,000 of student debt relief. Those who made less than $125,000 a year or their household earned less than $250,000 a year could qualify for up to $10,000 in forgiveness. Those who fell under these guidelines and received a Pell Grant are eligible for an additional $10,000 relief.

This article contains content from the Associated Press