Justice Amy Coney Barrett Tosses Bid to Block Biden Student Loan Forgiveness

October 21, 2022 by Dan McCue
Justice Amy Coney Barrett Tosses Bid to Block Biden Student Loan Forgiveness

WASHINGTON — Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday evening turned down, without explanation, an emergency request from a Wisconsin taxpayers group to halt the Biden administration’s student loan relief plan.

Barrett, who handles appeals from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, issued the denial one day after the emergency application was filed and without referring it to other justices, which is her prerogative.

She also did not request a response to the application from the Justice Department before making her decision.

The case at issue is Brown County Taxpayers Association v. Biden, and it is the first challenge to the loan program to reach the Supreme Court.


Additional lawsuits challenging the program have been filed in others, the latest being a lawsuit filed by the libertarian Cato Institute in the federal district court in Kansas.

That lawsuit was filed on Wednesday.


In the Wisconsin case, the taxpayer’s association argued that there is no legal justification for the president to usurp Congress’ constitutionally mandated power of the purse.

A federal judge earlier this month dismissed the association’s lawsuit for lack of standing, or the right to sue. 

To sustain a lawsuit in federal court, plaintiffs must show that they have suffered (or likely will suffer) particular, concrete harm from the defendant’s conduct. 

Under Supreme Court precedent, plaintiffs generally cannot satisfy this standing requirement merely by alleging that a challenged governmental policy will harm the public or increase taxes. 

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Griesbach wrote that the Wisconsin association was seeking to proceed with its lawsuit under “an exception to the general rule against federal taxpayer standing.”


After the 7th Circuit rejected the group’s request to freeze the loan-forgiveness program while it appealed, the group came to the Supreme Court seeking immediate relief.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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