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While dozens of worried students and other borrowers flock to the Supreme Court steps, the High Court will contest whether the Biden administration can forgive billions of dollars in federal student loan debt. I heard an argument in one case.
The president’s plan, which has been on hold since November due to legal challenges, will affect millions of student borrowers by eliminating or reducing federal loan debt of up to $20,000 per person .
“That’s just a lot. said Malakinix, a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey who took part in protests outside the courtroom during the argument on Tuesday, Feb. 28. [forgiveness plan] If it is passed, it will help my mother, it will help me, it will help many people. ”
Millions of Student Loan Borrowers Waiting
Before the plan was scrapped, the administration estimated 26 million people applied for up to $20,000 each in federal student loan forgiveness through the Department of Education. Until it comes out, millions more could apply.
“I’ve spoken to people across this country who are literally delaying having a family. [they] We can’t have kids, we can’t afford a car, we can’t afford a middle-class lifestyle,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). protest. “In America, we don’t have to face financial ruin because we want a bad education.”
Like the 44 million Americans with federal student loans, many of the students who took part in the protest started their careers in debt by the time they graduated, had little income, and therefore lost their lives. He spoke of his fear that his progress would be restricted.
Amanda Sledge, a Rutgers University freshman and chemistry major, said, “If this doesn’t work out, I’ll be graduating in debt, so that’s what affected me and I’m about to apply to graduate school.
In Court, Issues of Impartiality
Supreme Court hearings dragged on for hours as judges delivered arguments in two cases challenging the student loan forgiveness plan.
One case, brought by a conservative advocacy group and two student loan borrowers in Texas, argued that the plan was illegal, in part because of the limited eligibility criteria. One plaintiff is not eligible for forgiveness and her other plaintiff is only eligible for partial loan cancellation.
Several judges, led by conservatives 6 to 3, questioned the fairness of the program.
“Why was it fair to those who arguably didn’t get equal relief?” Judge Samuel Alito asked U.S. Attorney General Elizabeth Preloger, who represented the Biden administration at the hearing.
“It was fair because it’s clear that without this relief, millions of student loan borrowers would be unable to pay their student loans,” Prelogger replied.
The plan provides exemptions for federal student loan borrowers with an annual income of less than $125,000 (or $250,000 per household). Borrowers who meet the criteria are eligible for debt forgiveness of up to $10,000, and Pell Grant recipients are eligible for forgiveness of up to $20,000.
In another case, six Republican-led states (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina) have asked whether the secretary of education has the legal authority to pursue student loan forgiveness plans through the president’s executive order. I am disputing something.
“Congress has already ruled that the secretary can provide relief in the event of a national emergency affecting borrowers in this way,” Preloger argued.
The Supreme Court decision could take months
The crux of the debate stems from post-9/11 legislation that allows the government to provide student loan relief in the event of a national emergency. The Covid-19 pandemic triggered that relief, freezing federal student loan payments. But the question now is whether the administration can allow payments under the same law without seeking congressional approval or public comment.
It’s unclear what the judges will decide, but they are expected to make a decision by June. Federal student loan payments will resume 60 days after he makes the decision. If no decision is made by June 30th, payments will begin 60 days after that.