(Reuters)—The U.S Justice Department on Friday asked the Supreme Court to lift a lower court ruling that blocked President Joe Biden's plan to cancel billions of dollars in student debt in a challenge brought by six Republican-led states.
The government asked the high court to vacate a Nov. 14 decision by the St. Louis, Missouri-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to grant a request by Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina for an injunction against the plan.
The lower court's "erroneous injunction leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, uncertain about the size of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations," the Justice Department said in the filing.
The government is also actively contesting a separate ruling by a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, that also threatens the debt-relief program. U.S. Judge Mark Pittman on Nov. 10 found the program unlawful as he sided with two borrowers who sued because they are ineligible for the program and believe their debt "should be forgiven too."
The government stopped taking applications for student debt relief after Pittman's decision.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)