(The Hill) – A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program from continuing following an appeal from six GOP-led states, multiple outlets reported.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled Friday the policy to cancel thousands of dollars in student loan debt should be put on hold while challenges play out.
The Biden administration must respond to the case before the appeals court by Monday evening.
Biden’s plan would cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. Those who received Pell Grants could receive up to $20,000 in relief.
The ruling comes after a federal district judge dismissed the states’ lawsuit on Thursday, ruling that they did not have standing to sue.
The president announced earlier on Friday that over 22 million people applied for student loan debt forgiveness following the application’s release earlier this week.
The attorneys general originally filed the lawsuit in September, arguing that the Biden administration does not have the authority to cancel the debt because Congress did not authorize it.
But U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey ruled that they did not demonstrate they are directly harmed by the relief, which is needed to meet the standard of having standing. He did note that they presented “important and significant” challenges to Biden’s plan.
Multiple legal challenges have been filed to the loan forgiveness plan. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected an emergency bid from a group of Wisconsin taxpayers to block the plan on Thursday.
The Biden administration has argued that it is authorized to cancel debt through the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003. The legislation allows the secretary of education to cancel debt to student loan borrowers in times of “national emergency.”