GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a taxpayer group seeking to block President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, ruling that the group lacks standing to sue. in justice.
The Brown County Taxpayers Association argued that Biden’s order illegally circumvented Congress’s spending power. They also argued the plan was discriminatory by seeking to provide special relief to borrowers of color.
U.S. District Judge William Griesbach, appointed by President George W. Bush, dismissed the case Thursday, writing that the group lacks standing to challenge the plan simply because it is a taxpayer.
Biden signed into law the debt relief plan under the HEROES Act, which was passed after the September 11 attacks sparked a US-led military campaign targeting terrorism. The act gave the executive branch the power to cancel student loan debt in association with military operations or national emergencies.
The president cited COVID-19 as a reason to invoke the law. The lawsuit, brought by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of the Taxpayers’ group, had argued that it was an overextension of executive power that improperly circumvented Congress.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states. In Indiana, a libertarian group has argued that Biden’s plan creates additional tax burdens for students who would otherwise have their loans canceled. Six Republican-led states also filed suit in Missouri, raising specific objections to the cancellation of federal loans held by private banks. The Biden administration quickly removed the eligibility of an estimated 770,000 borrowers for such loans.