A federal appeals court on Monday issued an injunction blocking U.S. President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, setting the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a lawsuit brought by six GOP-led states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina.
“The injunction will remain in effect until further order of this court or the Supreme Court of the United States,” the appellate judges wrote.
In recent months, a barrage of lawsuits sought to overturn Biden’s student loan plan. Conservative advocates argue it’s illegal for the White House to take sweeping executive action to cancel up to $20,000 in debt per borrower without buy-in from Congress, and claim financial harm from lost tax revenue.
In response to the latest legal setback, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred to “baseless lawsuits by Republican officials and special interests,” and said the administration is “confident in our legal authority for the student debt relief program and believe it is necessary to help borrowers most in need as they recover from the pandemic.”
In a separate case, a federal judge in Texas also ruled that the program be halted. That ruling, too, is headed for appeal. The online application to apply for student loan relief was removed on Friday following the court order.