Legal expert says Biden is set for a 'direct confrontation' with Supreme Court on student debt

 August 28, 2023

Democrats were infuriated earlier this year when the Supreme Court overturned President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan.

Yet it appears that Republicans now have reason to be upset as a legal historian says the president is preparing to square off against America's highest judicial body. 

President and Supreme Court set for "very direct confrontation"

According to CNBC, that was the prediction made by New York University law professor Noah Rosenblum after Biden reacted to the court's ruling by holding an address in which he promised to "pursue another" path to debt relief.

The president cited the Higher Education Act of 1965, under which the secretary of education may "compromise, waive or release any right, title, claim, lien or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption."

Rosenblum called the move "striking" in a tweet, adding that it represented a "very direct confrontation with the Court" and was more pronounced than the one seen after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Law professor says Biden accused court of trying "to usurp" his power

Rosenblum reiterated that message during a recent interview with CNBC, saying, "Mainstream Democrats have generally been reticent to criticize the Supreme Court."

"So the first striking thing was that Biden was striking back against the court at all. But I was also struck by how Biden decided to push back," the law professor acknowledged.

"Rather than hide behind mystifying legalese, he framed the issue clearly and simply. As he explained it, his administration had taken democratic action and the court had tried to usurp its power and stop it from acting," Rosenblum continued.

The historian pointed out how "Biden made clear that Americans would not receive the relief his administration had sought to provide them" while stressing that "he would not allow the court to get the last word in expounding the meaning of the law."

Rosenblum: Justices "will have a much harder time" overturning new plan

Rosenblum also suggested that the justices could well rule differently when presented with Biden's new debt relief proposal.

"The process for forgiving debt under the new plan is longer and more elaborate, but the Education secretary’s authority to cancel debt at the end of it is clearer than it was under Biden’s first plan," he observed.

This led him to suspect that a majority of the court's justices "will have a much harder time striking down the forgiveness under Plan."

Still, Rosenblum predicted "that there will be several Republican-appointed justices on the court who will try to find a way to invalidate the administration’s actions anyway."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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