State of Nebraska v. Joseph Biden, Jr., No. 22-3179 (8th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff States’ requested to preliminarily enjoin the United States Secretary of Education (“Secretary”) from implementing a plan to discharge student loan debt under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003(“HEROES Act”). The States contend the student loan debt relief plan contravenes the separation of powers and violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it exceeds the Secretary’s authority and is arbitrary and capricious. The district court denied the States’ motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction after determining none of the States had standing to bring the lawsuit.
The Eighth Circuit granted the Emergency Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal. The court concluded that at this stage of the litigation, an injunction limited to the plaintiff States, or even more broadly to student loans affecting the States, would be impractical and would fail to provide complete relief to the plaintiffs. MOHELA is purportedly one of the largest nonprofit student loan secondary markets in America. It services accounts nationwide and had $168.1 billion in student loan assets serviced as of June 30, 2022. Here the Secretary’s universal suspension of both loan payments and interest on student loans weighs against delving into such uncertainty at this stage.
Court Description: [Per Curiam - Before Shepherd, Erickson, and Grasz, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Student Loan Debt Relief Program. The State of Missouri has standing to bring this challenge to the discharge program because cancellation of the student debt presents a financial harm to the State of Missouri; Missouri has shown a likely injury that is concrete and particularized, which is actual or imminent, and which is traceable to the challenged action of the Secretary of Education; having concluded that Missouri has standing, the equities of the case require the court to intervene to preserve the status quo pending the outcome of the States' appeal, and the states have satisfied the standard for injunctive relief pending review; an injunction limited to the plaintiff states would be impractical and would fail to provide complete relief; plaintiffs' motion for injunction pending appeal is granted. [ November 10, 2022 ]