Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan heads to Supreme Court

On Thursday, the Supreme Court announced that while the justices would not be immediately reviving the program, they would hear arguments.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

On Thursday, the Supreme Court responded to the Biden administration's request to reinstate its ill-fated, multi-billion dollar student debt relief plan, announcing that while the justices would not be immediately reviving the program, they would hear arguments.

The Biden administration took the case to the Supreme Court following a ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled alongside an earlier decision from the Fifth Circuit, halting the program.

According to Bloomberg, the Supreme Court indicated that arguments would be held as early as February or March, with a definitive ruling expected by June.

"We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case on our student debt relief plan for middle and working class borrowers this February," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement, arguing that the program was "necessary to help over 40 million eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic and move forward with their lives."

Contrary to what the courts have argued, Jean-Pierre stated unequivocally that, "The program is also legal, supported by careful analysis from administration lawyers."  

The legality of the program was perhaps most strongly rebuked by US District Judge Mark Pittman calling it "one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States."

"In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone," Pittman wrote in his decision. "Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government ... The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country. But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved."

Many top Democrats have come out in support of Biden, however, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was fact-checked on Twitter over her claim that the president was legally able to institute such a program.

Shortly after that, a 2021 video of soon-to-be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explaining that Biden does not have that authority made the rounds on Twitter. 

If allowed to go forward, the program would "forgive" $10,000 in student loan debt for people making under $125,000 per year, and $20,000 for Pell Grant borrowers, who make up around 60 percent of potential beneficiaries.


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