The legality of President Biden’s plan to wipe out billions of dollars in student debt will be decided by the Supreme Court early next year, according to a recent announcement from the court.
On Thursday, the court moved to hear arguments for a lawsuit filed by six Republican-led states alleging that the Biden administration exceeded its executive authority in canceling student debt. The six states — Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina — claimed that Biden’s debt cancellation would deprive the states of future tax revenue earned from the payment of these loans.
The court will hear arguments in February 2023, placing the case on an unusually fast track. The court moved to maintain an injunction blocking the implementation of the debt relief program until justices come to a decision in the case. Nearly 26 million student debt relief applications have been sent to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), with nearly 16 million of those applications already approved, but no debt has actually been canceled yet due to the injunction.
The injunction was originally put in place by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, primarily made up of Republican-appointed judges. The appeals court decided that the Republican-led states had legal standing to sue, reversing a previous decision by a district court that found the states did not have standing to sue because they would not suffer significant financial harm if the debt was canceled.
Due to these recent legal developments, the DOE has moved to stop accepting applications for student debt relief until the Supreme Court makes a final decision in the case.