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Student Debt Relief Struck Down by Supreme Court

Student Debt Relief Struck Down by Supreme Court
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In a ruling of 6-3, The U.S. Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden's student loan debt forgiveness plan.

In a ruling of 6-3, The U.S. Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden's student loan debt forgiveness plan.


16 million Americans had already been approved for some form of loan forgiveness, which would have cancelled up to $20,000 in debt for those individuals.

Now that President Biden's plan has been nullified, payments for those individuals will resume in the Fall. This decision will especially impact low-income borrowers who were able to set aside money for other expenses after the promise of debt-relief.

The Supreme Court's ruling decision cited separation of power as the primary reason, asserting that the Secretary of Education, and the Executive Branch did not have the authority to make this plan. Additionally, the Justices argued that congressional approval had not been obtained.

The Biden Administration's original plan asserted that executive authority for their plan came from the HEROES act, which cited a "national emergency" as a constitutional reason to grant relief to student loan recipients.

The dissenting justices argued that the Secretary of Education only did what congress permitted under the HEROES act, and that the COVID pandemic was their justification for using that authority.

They also stated that they believe this decision exceeds the Court's limited role in U.S. governance. "It has become a disturbing feature of some recent opinions to criticize the decisions with which they disagree as going beyond the proper role of the judiciary." stated dissenting Justice Elena Kagan.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, eligible borrowers had their student loan payments on hold. Now that this plan is overruled, student loan payments will resume in 60 days, and borrowers will owe even more.

"It is very important to note this SCOTUS ruling does NOT remove Biden’s ability to pursue student loan forgiveness," Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. "The Biden Admin can use the HEA (Higher Ed Act) - our position from the start - to continue loan forgiveness before payments resume. They should do so ASAP."

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