Supreme Court takes up second Biden student loan forgiveness case
On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a second attempt to revive President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. This case will be heard in February along with a case that the justices already agreed to hear.
Both cases involved lower courts that blocked the plan. The Supreme Court will decide if it goes into effect.
Monday’s court case will be heard by two student loan holders, Myra Brown (and Alexander Taylor), who claim that the administration failed to follow proper procedures when announcing the plan. The plan was invalidated nationwide by a Texas federal judge, prompting the administration’s appeal to the Supreme Court.
The high court issued a short order stating that it would consider whether Brown or Taylor had standing to file a lawsuit and, if so, whether the plan was legal.
The court in the other case stated that it would hear an appeal concerning administration. This was a challenge by six states.
The program’s opponents face a major problem. They have to prove that they have legal standing to sue, by showing how they are being harmed. The administration will likely face a difficult battle if the Supreme Court decides that the states or individuals have standing to sue and then asks whether Biden has the authority to forgive the loans. This would be because the conservative majority of the court is skeptical of broad assertions about federal power.
Since October, the program that allows eligible borrowers cancel up to $20,000 of debt has been stopped. Since then, the administration has closed the application process.
Borrowers are not required to pay any current payments under a pandemic-related presidential decree.
The challengers claim that the plan, announced by Biden in August, and initially set to go into effect in the fall, violates the Constitution. This is partly because it bypasses Congress, which they say has the power create laws regarding student loan forgiveness.