The Biden administration is no longer accepting applications for student loan forgiveness after a federal judge in Texas on Thursday struck down the relief program, rendering it illegal and imperiling its future.
The ruling came down from U.S. District Court Judge Mark Pittman — a Trump-appointed judge. Pittman ruled in favor of two plaintiffs who claimed the U.S. Department of Education made arbitrary decisions on eligibility requirements.
The administration said it is seeking to overturn the ruling and will hold the applications of those who have already applied.
The Texas case is the latest attempt by conservative-led states and business associations to block the Biden administration’s student debt relief program. Other cases in different parts of the country have been dismissed due to lack of standing.
The Texas case was filed by the Job Creators Network Foundation on behalf of borrowers Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor against the U.S. Department of Education, according to court records.
The plaintiffs claimed in October that the program’s so-called arbitrary eligibility requirements violated administrative procedure law, or how federal agencies create and issue regulations, according to a report by Bloomberg.
In its current form, Biden’s loan forgiveness program only applies to federal loans. Brown argued it is unfair her loans — issued by private companies — did not qualify for debt relief, according to The Intercept.
The student debt relief program would forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000. Those who received Pell Grants were eligible for an additional $10,000 in loan forgiveness.
Taylor argued it was unfair he didn’t receive an added $10,000 in relief because he didn’t receive a Pell Grant while attending college, Bloomberg reported.
This story has been updated.