BREAKING NEWS – The Supreme Court has struck down the federal student loan forgiveness program which would wipe out $400 billion dollars of debt from Americans.
A 6-3 decision, overrode by conservative justices, claimed that President Joe Biden stepped beyond his executive authority without approval from Congress. The majority opinion states, “The HEROES Act allows the Secretary [of Education] to 'waive or modify' existing statutory or regulatory provisions applicable to financial assistance programs under the Education Act," the ruling states, "but does not allow the Secretary to rewrite that statute to the extent of canceling $430 billion of student loan principal." Chief Justice Roberts mentions in the concurring opinion that the modifications created by the Department of Education of the forgiveness plan would apply to every borrower in the country.
Repayment for debt plans to resume in September, impacting 1 in 8 Americans – about 43 million people. Most borrowers are economically, vulnerable first-generation college students. Interest on these loans will further punish people's financial strain, and this so thought of “possible relief” has now transitioned into collective disappointment.
The Forgiveness Program would have taken away $20,000 of debt for people who are eligible for Pell Grants and $10,000 for remaining borrowers. The American people have been placed as political pawns even during the pause that started in March 2020 and will continue to be in the foreseeable future.
Advocacy organizations supporting debt cancellation condemned the decision while demanding that Biden find another avenue to fulfill his promise of debt relief. The fight is not over, and the President has the responsibility to use the tools of his power to make this a guarantee.