Supreme Court rejects request to freeze Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness program

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Amy Coney Barrett, poses during a group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington, United States, October 7, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

The Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request to block the Biden administration’s student loan debt relief program.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett denied emergency request to block program which was filed Wednesday by a group of Wisconsin taxpayers.

Barrett is responsible for these claims arising from cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which includes Wisconsin. A note of her denial on the Supreme Court docket does not indicate that she referred the request to the full Supreme Court before denying the request.

The loan relief plan, which is expected to take effect this weekend, will forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for millions of borrowers.

More than 8 million people submitted applications for the program last weekend after the US Department of Education launched a beta test.

The challenge to the plan came from the Brown County Taxpayers Association in Wisconsin, which had filed a federal lawsuit in that state over the effort.

Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying the group lacked the legal status to block the plan pending the outcome of the case.

The group then appealed this decision to the 7th Circuit. In its application Wednesday to Barrett, the group asked that she or the entire Supreme Court suspend implementation of the debt relief program pending the outcome of its appeal.

Dan Lennington, associate attorney for the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Inc., which acted as attorneys for the taxpayers’ group, said in a statement, “Of course, we are disappointed that the court denied us the ’emergency aid’.

“But that doesn’t make the program legal,” Lennington said. “The student loan forgiveness will remain under review by the courts and may still be suspended as we advocated this week.”

—CNBC Annie Nova contributed to this report.

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