Democratic attorneys general in 18 states and the District of Columbia are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges.
North Carolina's Attorney General Josh Stein is among those suing DeVos, arguing the move is a violation of federal law.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Washington and demands implementation of borrower defense to repayment rules.
The rules aim to make schools financially responsible for fraud and forbid them from forcing students to resolve complaints outside court.
They were created under President Barack Obama's administration and were to take effect July 1.
On June 14, DeVos announced the rules would be delayed and rewritten, saying they created "a muddled process that's unfair to students and schools."
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading the lawsuit and says DeVos' decision is "a betrayal of her office's responsibility and a violation of federal law."