AGs Ask Supreme Court to Lift Injunctions on Federal Government’s Student Debt Relief Plan

  • A coalition of 22 Democrat AGs filed an amicus brief in support of the federal government in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the government’s plan to cancel certain student loan debt in order to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The two cases, Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown, both challenge the debt cancellation plan. The lower courts granted injunctions preventing the government from enacting the plan during the pendency of the legal challenges, but the federal government has asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunctions to prevent what it asserts would be additional pandemic-related financial harm to potential recipients of the debt relief.
  • The AGs assert in their brief that the U.S. Secretary of Education has the authority to enact the debt cancellation plan under the HEROES Act, a stimulus package meant to address the economic impacts of the pandemic. They also argue that alternatives to debt cancellation, such as monthly payment reductions, are insufficient to meet the circumstances caused by the pandemic. The AGs ask the Court to lift the injunctions and allow the federal government to implement the debt cancellation plan.
  • As previously reported, the Nebraska v. Biden case was brought by a coalition of 6 Republican AGs, who challenged that the debt cancellation plan is illegal and exceeds the Department of Education’s statutory authority under the Administrative Procedures Act.