Supreme Court to issue decisions on affirmative action, Biden's student loan forgiveness plan

"I guess I don't put much stock in that because I've heard similar arguments in favor of segregation too," Thomas said.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

The Supreme Court is set to issue its final decisions on a number of cases over the next month, including Biden’s student loan forgiveness program and affirmative action policies within colleges and universities, notably UNC and Harvard.

The decision on affirmative action will be based on two parallel cases the court heard together, one regarding public university UNC and the other for private universities, namel Harvard, on whether a student’s race and be considered in admission decisions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Both cases, one against the University of North Carolina, and one against the President and Fellows of Harvard College, were brought forth by Students for Fair Admissions, which alleges that schools taking race into consideration on college applications violate equal protection under law.

Attorney for the University of North Carolina, Ryan Park, argued during the hearing that diversity within the school leads students to "perform at a higher level make more efficient trading decisions, and the mechanism there is it reduces groupthink, and people have longer and more sustained disagreement, and that leads to a more efficient outcome."

"Well, I guess I don't put much stock in that because I've heard similar arguments in favor of segregation too," Thomas said at the time.

Also set to be ruled on is Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which was announced last year. The program would entitle borrowers up to $20,000 in federal student loan forgiveness, with the administration arguing that it has the authority to do so under the Heroes Act.

Those against the cases argue that the Biden administration has overstepped its authority, and has violated the separation of powers by going forward with the plan without Congressional approval.

In a lower court ruling, US District Judge Mark Pittman called the forgiveness plan "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."


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