The Supreme Court will not block President Joe Biden’s student loan relief program, shocking many conservatives and court observers. This is a major victory for President Biden and a surprise to many conservatives and court watchers.
The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it would not obstruct the $6 billion in relief for former students, many of whom attended for-profit colleges and allege they were misled about employment prospects and academics, despite their claims of being misled.
Reuters reported: “The justices turned away a request from three colleges that are challenging a settlement between the U.S. Education Department and borrowers that linked the colleges to claims of substantial misconduct, an allegation they dispute. Three of the schools identified in the settlement – for-profit Lincoln Educational Services Corp (LINC.O) and American National University Inc as well as nonprofit Everglades College Inc – challenged the agreement after it was approved by a federal judge in California last November. Around 3,500 borrowers entitled to automatic loan discharge under the settlement attended one of the three schools.”
This is not the same as the case before the court regarding Biden’s massive plan to reduce nearly $430 million in debt held by approximately 40 million debtors, which many believe will be struck down.
The U.S. Supreme Court may hear a third legal challenge concerning student loan forgiveness.
“The Supreme Court is already considering two legal challenges over President Joe Biden’s signature one-time debt relief plan. That massive initiative would allow up to 40 million borrowers to receive $10,000 or more in federal student loan forgiveness. The Court held a historic hearing in February where the justices hammered attorneys on both sides of the dispute, and it’s expected to issue a ruling in June. In the meantime, no borrowers have received loan forgiveness under the initiative,” Forbes reported.
“But now, another legal dispute over a smaller, but still significant student loan forgiveness initiative is being appealed to the Supreme Court. It’s too early to know what the Court will do. But here’s what borrowers should know,” the outlet added.
During oral arguments in early March, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas bombarded the Biden administration with questions about the president’s student loan giveaway, indicating that he does not believe the White House had the constitutional authority to do so.
Two cases involving Biden’s student loan forgiveness program were argued before the Supreme Court justices.
In the first case, Biden v. Nebraska, six Republican attorneys general argued that the president’s program exceeded his authority.
US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, arguing on behalf of the administration, stated that if the pause on payments is allowed to end without some sort of plan in place, “it’s undisputed that defaults and delinquencies will surge above pre-pandemic levels.”
“The states ask this court to deny that vital relief to millions of Americans, but they lacked standing to seek that result,” she also said.
Continuing, Prelogar argued further that “the states say the act doesn’t authorize the [Education] secretary to ever forgive loan principal. But the secretary’s interpretation of this text is not just a plausible reading, it’s the best reading. Congress expressly authorized the secretary to waive or modify any title for provision in emergencies to provide financial relief to borrowers.”
Thomas questioned whether a cancellation of student loans could be equivalent to a waiver or modification. According to The Post Millennial, in response, Prelogar noted that the HEROES Act, which was enacted after 9/11, allows the education secretary to implement certain measures during a national emergency. However, critics such as Thomas assert that the HEROES Act was intended to address emergencies arising from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and not a pandemic twenty years later.
Thomas requested further clarification from Prelogar regarding the distinction between the cancellation of student loan debt and grants for which Congress is responsible for allocating funds.
“There’s some discussion in the briefs …. that this is in effect a cancellation of a debt, that’s really what we’re talking about, and that as a cancellation of $400 billion in debt, in effect this is a grant of $400 billion and it runs headlong into Congress’ appropriations authority,” he said.
Prelogar responded that the student loan program “doesn’t require any money be drawn from the Treasury, and so I don’t think that it strictly raises an appropriations issue.”
In the meantime, President Biden stated this week after the arguments portion of the case that he was not “confident” that the loan giveaway would pass constitutional scrutiny under the parameters established by a majority of justices.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“President Joe Biden told reporters Wednesday he is not confident the Supreme Court will uphold his executive order to cancel up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for tens of millions of borrowers—a day after the court’ CONTINUE READING…