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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On U.S. Department Of Education’s One-Time Student Debt Relief Program
On February 28, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two cases challenging President Biden’s plan to forgive $400 billion in federal student loans. Since the Biden administration released its plan to forgive up to $20,000 per eligible borrower, federal injunctions have blocked the pathway to loan forgiveness. The Plaintiffs are six states that challenged the loan relief program, arguing that the Biden administration does not have the power to wipe out significant student loan debt without Congress’s authorization. The Biden administration defends the policy on the grounds that the President has the authority to cancel student debt under the Higher Education Opportunities for Students Act of 2003, or the “HEROES Act.” The Heroes Act, enacted in 2011 after the September 11 attacks, gave the U.S. Department of Education the power to make changes to the federal loan system during national emergencies.
More than 26 million borrowers have already applied for relief under President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. U.S. Secretary Cardona released a statement commending the “powerful defense” brought before the Court. He explained that relief is essential for American borrowers after the economic crises caused by the pandemic. The pause on student loan payments is ongoing, and LCW continues to monitor updates on this case.
Biden v. Nebraska (2022) 143 S. Ct. 477 and Department of Education v. Brown (2022) 143 S. Ct. 541.