On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s administration urged the Supreme Court to uphold his beleaguered student loan forgiveness plan, which would erase debt owed by tens of millions of Americans.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of legal challenges to that plan next month. Opponents, including six conservative states, argue that the Biden administration exceeded its authority by devising the debt relief plan on its own.
The administration argued in a brief issued Wednesday that those opposing the effort lack standing to sue because they are not directly harmed by the plan. If the court disagrees, the administration claims that the programme is still legal.
Lower courts have left “millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo,” according to the administration’s complaint to the Supreme Court. The justices, it said, should not compel the “damaging and destabilising result” that the administration claims will result from blocking the programme.
Lower federal courts have put Biden’s loan programme on hold for months. In a separate move, the administration extended a moratorium on student loan payments until as late as June 30, limiting the impact of those court decisions for the time being.
Biden’s plan would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for other borrowers earning up to $125,000 per year or who are part of a household earning no more than $250,000. More than 26 million Americans have already applied for aid, and the administration estimates that another 40 million may be eligible.