Washington, D.C. (NewsNation) — The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to intervene and pause President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, just days after applications opened up.
Up to 40 million Americans are eligible for student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 per borrower. The Biden administration said 8 million people applied for the program the weekend it opened. Debt cancellations are currently expected to begin as early as Oct. 23.
The Brown County Taxpayers Association, a conservative group based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, filed the emergency request to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who manages requests from the state. The complaint was thrown out by a federal judge in Wisconsin and then rejected by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach also nixed an emergency motion for an injunction. The Supreme Court is the last chance for the lawsuit to go forward.
The Wisconsin group said the president lacks the authority to cancel student loans and is asking the court to put the program on hold while the appeal process plays out. Coney Barrett could make a decision on the application herself or refer it to the full court to consider.
This isn’t the first lawsuit filed regarding the program. A coalition of Republican-led states has also filed a lawsuit saying the president has overstepped his authority. The Biden administration argued they have the authority to cancel student debt under the 2003 Heroes Act, which passed after 9/11. The act gave the executive branch authority to forgive student loan debt in association with military operations or national emergencies. The current administration has said that means the Education Department can both suspend loan payments and cancel student loans due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Opponents of the program have raised questions about the cost, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates at $400 billion over the next 30 years. Those who are against the program have raised questions about who will foot the bill and how loan forgiveness could impact inflation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.