Supreme Court will hear challenge to Biden's student loan handout this week

 February 28, 2023

The Daily Caller reports that many experts believe that the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are about to deliver a fatal blow to President Joe Biden's student loan handout. 

The justices are scheduled to hear two challenges to Biden's student loan proposal on Tuesday.

Biden's plan

Back in August, before the 2022 midterm elections, President Biden announced a plan that would result in the cancellation of a significant portion of federal student loan debt. The plan is estimated to cost over $400 billion.

Under the plan, a federal student loan borrower could get up to $10,000 of his or her loan canceled. Or, if the borrower is a Pell Grant recipient, the borrower could get up to $20,000 of the loans canceled.

To be eligible for Biden's plan, one must be making less than $125,000 per year if single or less than $250,000 per year if married.

The backlash

After announcing the loan cancellation plan, Biden faced a significant amount of criticism. This included criticism from individuals who align with the Democratic Party.

Many arguments against Biden's plan have been made. This includes several arguments based on basic notions of fairness. Some argue, for example, that it would not be fair to those borrowers who have paid back their loans to cancel debt owed by those who have not.

From a legal perspective, however, a chief point of contention has been whether or not Biden, as president, actually has the authority to unilaterally cancel federal student loan debt. Biden, after all, has attempted to cancel this debt through executive action alone.

The legal challenges

Soon after Biden announced his debt cancellation plan, he was hit with a number of legal challenges. And, those legal challenges have been successful at the lower court levels, stopping Biden's plan from going into effect.

Thus far, about 26 million borrowers have applied for relief, and 16 million applications have been approved. But, because the courts have halted the plan, Biden has not been able to proceed.

It is now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to make the final decision on whether Biden is allowed to proceed with his student loan handout.

What's going to happen?

The justices of the Supreme Court are going to have to decide whether or not the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 gives Biden the authority to unilaterally cancel student loan debt. This is where Biden claims that he derives such authority.

The argument is that the HEROES Act gives the secretary of the Department of Education (DOE) the ability to cancel or modify student loans during a federal emergency, which in this case would be the COVID pandemic.

It is unclear what the Supreme Court with its conservative majority is going to decide. A decision would be expected by the Summer, at the latest.

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