BOSTON – Democratic attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia have won a case against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuse by for-profit colleges.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills joined the lawsuit in July 2017.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, argued DeVos violated rule-making laws when she announced a decision last year to delay so-called borrower defense to repayment rules finalized under President Barack Obama and scheduled to take effect in July 2017.

DeVos had argued the rules created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who led the lawsuit, called Wednesday’s decision “a victory for every family defrauded by a predatory for-profit school.”

The court said the Department of Education’s rationale for suspending the rules was “arbitrary and capricious.”

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