Barrett again denies emergency bid to block student loan forgiveness plan

Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Friday denied an emergency effort to block the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program, her second such decision in recent weeks.

Barrett, who handles emergency cases arising from several Midwestern states, acted alone in denying the request, rather than referring it to the full court.

The brief one-line order comes after the libertarian group Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) urged the court to block the president’s national debt cancellation plan.

The PLF was the first group to challenge President Biden’s loan forgiveness program in court, filing on behalf of one of its own attorneys in September. The group argued that Biden’s debt plan would cause irreparable harm to fellow PLF lawyer Frank Garrison by automatically canceling his debt and forcing him to pay taxes on the amount handed over.

After the Department of Education added a notice to its website telling people they could opt out of debt relief, a federal judge dismissed PLF’s challenge but allowed the group to change its complaint.

PLF amended its complaint, adding a second plaintiff – Noel Johnson – and making it a class action. However, the district judge dismissed the case, ruling that Garrison and Johnson lacked standing.

The group appealed and asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to block Biden’s loan forgiveness program, but were again denied for lack of quality. The PLF then turned to the Supreme Court to block the program.

Barrette refused a similar emergency request from a group of Wisconsin taxpayers in late October, which also sought to block Biden’s debt plan from going into effect while he appealed.

The Wisconsin group’s lawsuit, which argued the White House lacked the authority to enact such a policy, was also dismissed by a lower court for lack of standing.

Another lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of six GOP-led states was also initially dismissed for lack of standing. However, a federal appeals court agreed to temporarily block the Biden plan amid its appeal.

The Biden administration’s debt relief plan would forgive up to $10,000 in student loans for borrowers earning less than $125,000 and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell grants.

Updated at 5:20 p.m.

Comments are closed.