Updated Nov 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge in Texas strikes down Biden's student loan relief plan

An activist holds a cancel student debt sign in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on Aug. 25, 2022. Photo: Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas struck down the Biden administration's student debt relief program Thursday.

The latest: The Biden administration said in a Thursday night filing that it's appealing the ruling of the Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman. "We strongly disagree with the District Court's ruling on our student debt relief program," said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement confirming the appeal.

Driving the news: Pittman declared the program illegal after the Job Creators Network Foundation filed a lawsuit last month alleging the administration violated federal procedures.

  • The suit, filed on behalf of two borrowers, accuses the administration of denying borrowers an opportunity to provide public comment before launching the program.

What we're watching: "For the 26 million borrowers who have already given the Department of Education the necessary information to be considered for debt relief — 16 million of whom have already been approved for relief — the Department will hold onto their information so it can quickly process their relief once we prevail in court," Jean-Pierre said.

The big picture: The move comes after a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the debt relief program in a suit brought by six Republican states — among a growing number of legal challenges against the plan.

What they're saying: "The President and this Administration are determined to help working and middle-class Americans get back on their feet, while our opponents – backed by extreme Republican special interests — sued to block millions of Americans from getting much-needed relief," Jean-Pierre said.

The other side: "The court has correctly ruled in favor of our motion and deemed the Biden student loan program illegal," said Elaine Parker, president of the foundation, in a statement.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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