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US Supreme Court considers Biden’s debt reduction for college students

Joseph Biden wants to cancel millions of student loan debts, but detractors claim he overstepped his authority.

In a case that poses yet another significant test of the executive branch’s authority in the United States, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to uphold US President Joe Biden’s proposal to cancel $430 billion in student debt for 40 million borrowers.

The Biden administration is appealing two lower court decisions that blocked the program he announced in August, and the nine justices are listening to arguments in that appeal on Tuesday. Two student loan debtors and six conservative-leaning states opposed to the plan’s eligibility conditions filed judicial challenges.

For Those making under $125,000 who took out loans to pay for college or other post-secondary education, the US government would cancel up to $10,000 in federal student debt under the president’s proposal. For those who receive Pell grants, which are given to students from lower-income families, the sum rises to $20,000.

The program carried out Biden’s 2020 campaign promise to forgive some of the $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt owed by the country, but Conservatives criticized it as an abuse of power.

The so-called big questions doctrine may subject the program, which aims to lessen the financial burden on debt-ridden debtors, to court review. This forceful judicial strategy was used by its 6-3 conservative majority to strike down Biden measures that it claimed lacked explicit congressional authorization.

According to the Biden administration, the idea is permitted by the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, or HEROES Act, a 2003 federal legislation that permits student loan debt forgiveness during times of war or other national emergencies.

Financial hardship was felt by many borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a recognized public health emergency. The administrations of Presidents Donald Trump, a Republican, and Joe Biden, a Democrat, relied on the HEROES Act to routinely delay federal student loan payments and stop interest from accruing beginning in 2020.

The challengers have not experienced the kind of legal harm required to give them the right standing to file their challenges, according to Biden’s administration. The opposition has claimed that the Biden administration failed to give the program a proper legal foundation.

Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor filed a lawsuit challenging the student loan forgiveness program, and US District Court Judge Mark Pittman in Texas said there was no “clear congressional authorization.” Pittman’s decision was not suspended pending an appeal by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has its headquarters in New Orleans.

Judge Henry Autrey of the US District Court in Missouri concluded that South Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska lacked the legal standing to file a lawsuit. On review, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis determined, at the very least, that Missouri likely had legal grounds to file a lawsuit. As a result, the court temporarily stopped the Biden program from going into force until the matter was being heard.

According to one scenario put forth by the states, the Biden plan would hurt a Missouri-based student loan servicer, a business that collects payments, and hence would hurt that state.

The two individual debtors claim they were denied their “procedural rights” under federal law because the government did not permit public feedback on Biden’s student loan forgiveness scheme.

It is everything

On Tuesday, before the justices hearing oral arguments, dozens of supporters of student debt relief rallied outside the supreme court in Washington, DC. The protesters shouted, “Education is a right.”

Addressing the student debt crisis is a “moral issue,” according to Carmel Pryor, senior director of communications at the advocacy group Alliance for Youth Action, and would have a significant positive impact on the lives of young people all around the nation.

According to Pryor, “It means everything.” “It would be amazing if the Supreme Court finally sided with the people.”

Debt relief, according to some critics of Biden’s action, ignores the spiraling price of higher education, which they claim is the real cause of the issue. Pryor, though, asserted that the program is a crucial “first step” in a campaign for more extensive educational reform, which includes wiping out all student debt and making public colleges free.

She further denied that the relief would have any negative effects on the economy, noting that student loan payments had been suspended for three years due to the epidemic and that “the sky hasn’t fallen.”

Advocates of student loan forgiveness frequently characterize the college debt crisis as a matter of racial justice, pointing out that communities of color are more likely to borrow money for higher education and find it difficult to repay it.

The additional $10,000 in relief for lower-income families, according to University of Virginia student Omamus Oghene, will particularly assist bridge the racial wealth gap in the US.

According to Oghene, “the Pell Grant is [for] a lot of Black and Brown people, a lot of poor kids, a lot of first-generation students, and a lot of students whose parents didn’t go to college.” So, the extra $10,000 is intended to help bridge a little gap. Although it won’t completely close the gap, it’s a positive move nonetheless.

While he is accruing his student loan debt, Daniel Grandison, a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, claims that his mother is still making payments on her debt.

It’s leaving us in its wake. We still can’t stand up straight,” he remarked.

When asked if he believed the Supreme Court would permit debt relief to take effect, Grandison responded, “I’m hoping we get our relief. But, that is the only hope. Indeed, the Supreme Court decides. I’m praying because I think it’ll be wonderful.

Student debt

Student debt refers to the money that students borrow from government or private lenders to finance their education. This debt typically includes tuition fees, books, accommodation, and other related expenses. The amount of student debt varies depending on the type of education, the cost of living in the area, and the duration of the program.

Student debt has become a significant issue in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Many students graduate with large amounts of debt, which can take several years to pay off. This debt burden can affect their financial future, making it difficult to buy a home, start a business, or save for retirement.

There are several reasons why student debt has become such a significant issue. One reason is the rising cost of education, which has outpaced inflation in many countries. Additionally, many students are unable to pay for their education without taking out loans, as they may come from low-income families or lack access to other financial resources.

To address the issue of student debt, some governments and organizations have implemented programs to help students manage their debt. These include loan forgiveness programs, income-driven repayment plans, and debt consolidation options. Additionally, some universities and colleges have lowered their tuition fees or increased financial aid to help reduce the burden of student debt on their students.



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