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DOJ Asks Supreme Court to Hear Second Case on Debt

December 6, 2022

The Biden administration wants the U.S. Supreme Court to add another lawsuit challenging its student loan forgiveness plan to the court’s docket for this term.

The Department of Justice made the request in a lawsuit brought by Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor, who took issue with the debt-relief plan because they wouldn’t benefit from it and didn’t have the chance to comment on the proposal. A U.S. district judge in Texas ruled in favor of Brown and Taylor and vacated the program.

The Biden administration appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but a three-judge panel declined to overrule the district judge.

“This is the second of two cases in which lower courts have entered nationwide orders blocking the Secretary of Education’s plan to use his statutory authority to provide debt relief to student-loan borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in the application for a stay to Justice Samuel Alito.

Alito has requested responses to the application by noon Wednesday.

The Supreme Court decided last week to take up a separate case challenging the debt-relief plan. Oral arguments are scheduled for February in that lawsuit, Biden v. Nebraska.

If Alito declines to issue a stay, Prelogar requested the court treat the application as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, grant the petition and hear the case alongside Biden v. Nebraska.

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Katherine Knott

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