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Supreme Court again declines to block Biden’s student loan relief plan

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a second request to block the Biden administration’s student loan debt relief program. Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied an emergency application to block the program brought Tuesday by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group, on behalf of two borrowers in Indiana. On Oct. 20, Barrett rejected a similar request from the Brown County Taxpayers Association in Wisconsin. Barrett is responsible for such applications issued from cases in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Indiana and Wisconsin. Friday’s decision has little practical effect. For now, student loan forgiveness remains on hold from a challenge brought by six Republican-led states. An appeals court judge in the 8th Circuit in October granted the states’ emergency petition to stay the plan pending consideration of the states’ appeal. Since the White House in August unveiled its plan — to cancel $10,000 in student loans for most borrowers and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants for low-income families — it has faced at least six lawsuits. Close to 26 million Americans have already applied for student loan forgiveness, and the Biden administration has approved 16 million of the requests, the White House said Thursday. The administration has continued to encourage borrowers to apply for relief despite the recent challenges. Caleb Kruckenberg, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, in an emailed statement said, “We’re disappointed by today’s denial but will continue to fight this program in court.” “Practically since this program was announced, the administration has sought to avoid judicial scrutiny,” Kruckenberg said. “Thus far they have succeeded. But that does not change the fact that this program is illegal from stem to stern.”

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