United States District Court Judge Richard L. Young on Thursday declined to block the Biden administration's student debt forgiveness plan.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday by Frank Garrison, an Indiana attorney who works for the Pacific Legal Foundation. Garrison said he did not want $20,000 worth of forgiven debt because he would have to pay more than $1,000 in Indiana state taxes.
One day later, on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education responded, saying Garrison would not suffer irreparable harm.
"Upon receiving this lawsuit and reviewing Plaintiff’s filings, the Department has already taken steps to effectuate Plaintiff’s clearly stated desire to opt out of the program and not receive $20,000 in automatic cancellation of his federal student loan debt, and so notified Plaintiff’s counsel today," the Department of Education responded.
On Thursday, Judge Young agreed in an order denying a temporary restraining order, writing, "The court, in view of the fact the Department of Education exempted Plaintiff from receiving debt relief, finds Plaintiff cannot be irreparably harmed as is required for preliminary relief."
The decision was expected by Slate legal correspondent Mark Joseph Stern in a story initially published prior to the ruling.
Stern described the Wednesday filing by the Department of Eduction as a "tactical masterstroke."
"In other words, Garrison’s wish has been granted: The government will not cancel $20,000 of his student debt," Stern wrote. "With these two moves, the Biden administration has blown up PLF’s theory of standing. Not only has the government added an opt out to ensure that nobody is compelled into debt relief, it has already ensured that Garrison’s debt specifically will stay on the books. His injury, already dubious, has disappeared."