Supreme Court May Scrap Student Loan Forgiveness Plan After All

( The Supreme Court will soon take up the case of whether President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program can go through.

The justices scheduled oral arguments in the case for February 28, at least giving those borrowers who are facing much uncertainty about their future payments an idea of when the situation might be resolved.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Biden’s plan to cancel as much as $20,000 in federal student debt, which would affect tens of millions of people in America. All of the suits have claimed that the program is an overreach of the authority that the president holds, and is unfair in multiple ways.

Two of those lawsuits have thus far been successful in stopping Biden’s plan from moving forward temporarily. Those decisions have been appealed by the Biden administration, and the Supreme Court has now weighed in, saying that it will have the final say.

Until that happens, though, the program continues to remain on hold.

The Republican-led lawsuits argue that the program would disrupt state entities that profit from the federal student loans. Another suit filed by the Job Creators Network Foundation — an advocacy group that leans conservative — includes two different borrowers from Texas who are either completely or partially left out of the relief plan.

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said recently that the fact that the high court justices agreed to take up this case so quickly might suggest they’re eager to make a decisive ruling in the case. Tribe, like a lot of other legal pundits, believes that there’s little hope Biden’s plan will survive after the Supreme Court case.

He said recently:

“It’s basically put the program in deep freeze until it proceeds to most likely dismantle it.”

Mark Kantrowitz, an expert in higher education, said the fact that the high court took up the case in this way doesn’t bode well for those who are in favor of the plan, “because ruling against forgiveness is less complicated.”

Conservative justices especially believe that many government agencies try to exert too much authority and also “violate the separation of powers.”

Tribe says that many of the plaintiffs are trying to dress up the frustration they have with seeing other students receive relief in the legal arguments they’re making about separation of powers. He said:

“They think of this as elite, selfish kids getting at the head of the line when others have had to repay their loans.”

The Biden administration continues to insist that it has the authority to pass the student loan forgiveness plan. It has referred to the Heroes Act of 2003, which grants the secretary of education the power to waive all regulations that are related to federal student loans during what are termed national emergencies.

That United States has been operating under these emergency declarations since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020.

Opening briefs in this case are due from the Biden administration by January 4. About a month after that, the plaintiffs have to submit their opening briefs to the high court.