The U.S. Supreme Court on December 1 said it will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by six states over the Biden administration’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower in February.
The announcement came after Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar asked the court on November 18 to lift the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit’s pause on the plan. The appeals court initially blocked the plan on October 21 and extended the pause on November 14.
The six states (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina) filed a joint lawsuit against the Biden administration on September 29. The states alleged the administration overstepped its executive authority under the HEROES Act. The states also argued that the Department of Education was legally required to collect student loans and could not stop collecting without congressional approval. They also alleged the administration’s forgiveness plan would harm their investments and reduce their tax revenues, which was, in their view, a sufficient basis to sue.
If the forgiveness plan survives court challenges, it would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt per person for individual tax filers making less than $125,000 or married filers with less than $250,000 in income. Pell Grant recipients are eligible to have an additional $10,000 forgiven under the plan.