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Judge Barrett rejects group’s attempt to prevent Biden’s student debt relief program from taking effect

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Supreme Court Justice Amy Comey Barrett Thursday rejected a request from a Wisconsin taxpayer group to halt the operation of President Joe Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness program.

Barrett, who is responsible for Wisconsin emergency filings, rejected the Brown County Taxpayers Association’s request to block the program just days after the Biden administration began accepting requests from borrowers to forgive as much as $20,000 in student debt. to get.

The urgent application was submitted on Wednesday.

Barrett appeared to act alone without referring the case to the other judges. She gave no explanation for declining the emergency request, which is not unusual.

The taxpayer group had argued in a 29-page Supreme Court filing that Biden’s program would cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion and circumvent Congress, which oversees federal spending.

The impartial Congressional Budget Office last month estimated Biden’s plan would cost $400 billion, while the Department of Education said the price tag is closer to $379 billion.

Rick Esenberg, an attorney representing the taxpayer group in the lawsuit and also president and general counsel of the right-wing Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, said in a statement Thursday that he hoped other legal challenges to the program would succeed.

“We are well aware of the permanent challenges that exist to stop a clearly unconstitutional order. Our case had one approach to meeting that challenge,” Esenberg said. “Others will take other arguments and we hope one will succeed so that the American people can have the legality of this program judged by the courts.”

Late last month, the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative-oriented law firm, sued the administration on behalf of one of its employees, Indiana-based attorney Frank Garrison.

Two days after that lawsuit was filed, officials from six Republican-led states sued to block the program. A federal judge dismissed that lawsuit Thursday.

Biden’s student debt relief program would provide up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness for borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year and for couples filing joint taxes earning less than $250,000 annually. Pell Grant recipients, who make up the majority of borrowers, are eligible for an additional $10,000 in debt relief. The overall program is expected to help more than 40 million borrowers, the government said.

Rebecca Shabad contributed.


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