Republicans strongly opposed that level of relief when it was announced. At the time, however, even they acknowledged that it would be extremely difficult to challenge in court. To bring a lawsuit, a would-be plaintiff would have to show that they were injured in some way by the executive order. Without an injury, there’s nothing for the court to fix, and if there’s nothing for the court to fix, there’s no reason for it to hear the case. The Constitution only allows the courts to hear “cases and controversies,” not issue freewheeling advisory opinions.
Who is possibly injured by having $10,000 in debt removed from your student loans? Certainly not the individual borrowers who received that relief, despite some tortured attempts to claim otherwise. In a separate ruling on Friday, the justices unanimously rejected a too-clever-by-half lawsuit by two individual borrowers who were recruited by right-wing legal activists. The borrowers claimed that the order was invalid for procedural reasons and that, if it were redone properly, they might receive even more debt relief. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for all nine justices in Dept. of Education v. Brown, rejected that argument out of hand.
In Biden v. Nebraska, a coalition of Republican-led state attorneys general sought to overturn the order. How could states possibly have standing, you might ask? They do not go to college, after all. The residents of a state may go to college, but the state couldn’t sue on their behalf because they don’t have standing either. And while every state operates its own colleges and universities, those schools get the tuition payments no matter what happens to the student debt that follows, so there’s no injury—and thus no standing—to be found there.