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US Supreme Court conservatives question Biden student debt relief


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This is going to get tossed 6-3, maybe even 7-2.

https://www.reuters.com/legal/us-supreme-court-scrutinizes-biden-college-student-debt-relief-2023-02-28/

Quote

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday signaled skepticism over the legality of President Joe Biden's plan to cancel $430 billion in student debt for about 40 million borrowers, with the fate of his policy that fulfilled a campaign promise hanging in the balance.

The nine justices heard arguments in appeals by Biden's administration of two lower court rulings blocking the policy that he unveiled last August in legal challenges by six conservative-leaning states and two individual student loan borrowers opposed to the plan's eligibility requirements.

Under the plan, the U.S. government would forgive up to $10,000 in federal student debt for Americans making under $125,000 who took out loans to pay for college and other post-secondary education and $20,000 for recipients of Pell grants awarded to students from lower-income families.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, arguing on behalf of Biden's administration, faced skeptical questions from conservative justices including John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh about the legal underpinning of the policy and its fairness.


Roberts, the chief justice, questioned whether the scale of the relief could be considered a mere modification of an existing student loan program, as allowed under the law the administration cited as authorizing it.

"We're talking about half a trillion dollars and 43 million Americans. How does that fit under the normal understanding of 'modify'?" Roberts asked.

The policy, intended to ease the financial burden on debt-saddled borrowers, faced scrutiny by the court under the so-called major questions doctrine. Its 6-3 conservative majority has employed this muscular judicial approach to invalidate major Biden policies deemed lacking clear congressional authorization.

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor also noted the high-dollar amount at issue.

"How do you deal with that?" Sotomayor asked Prelogar. "That seems to favor the argument that this is a major question."

Questioned by Alito about whether a member of Congress would consider this policy a major question, Prelogar said, "Of course, we acknowledge that this is an economically significant action. But I think that can't possibly be the sole measure for triggering application of the major questions doctrine."

Prelogar said that "national policies these days frequently do involve more substantial costs or trigger political controversy." Prelogar added that Biden's plan "is not an assertion of regulatory authority at all. This is the administration of a benefits program."

A 2003 federal law called the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, or HEROES Act, authorizes the U.S. education secretary to "waive or modify" student financial assistance during war or national emergencies."

Many borrowers experienced financial strain during the COVID-19 pandemic, a declared public health emergency. Beginning in 2020, the administrations of President Donald Trump, a Republican, and Biden, a Democrat, paused federal student loan payments and halted interest from accruing, relying upon the HEROES Act.

The program fulfilled Biden's 2020 campaign promise to cancel a portion of $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt. Republicans called it an overreach of his authority.

The states that challenged it were Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina. The individual borrowers were Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor.


Roberts told Prelogar the case reminded him of Trump's effort - blocked by the Supreme Court - to end a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants, often called "Dreamers," who entered the United States illegally as children.

"This is a case that presents extraordinarily serious, important issues about the role of Congress and about the role that we should exercise in scrutinizing that - significant enough that the major questions doctrine ought to be considered implicated?" Roberts asked.

Kavanaugh said Congress, in the HEROES Act, did not specifically authorize loan cancellation or forgiveness and that Biden's administration pursued a "massive new program."

"That seems problematic," Kavanaugh said.

Hundreds of demonstrators including borrowers rallied in favor of Biden's relief plan outside the court. Biden wrote on Twitter, "The relief is critical to over 40 million Americans as they recover from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. We're confident it's legal."

Some Republicans have attacked Biden's plan as unfair because it benefits certain Americans - colleged-educated borrowers - and not other people.

Roberts presented Prelogar with a hypothetical scenario involving one person who took out a loan to pay for college and another who borrowed to start a lawn care company.

"We know statistically that the person with the college degree is going to do significantly financially better over the course of life than the person without. And then along comes the government and tells that person, 'You don't have to pay your loan,'" Roberts said. "Nobody's telling the person who was trying to set up the lawn service business that he doesn't have to pay his loan."

Prelogar responded to such "fairness" concerns raised by conservative justices by saying that "you can make that critique of every prior" government relief to various Americans under the HEROES Act.

The liberal justices raised doubts that the state challengers had the proper legal standing to bring their lawsuit based on the claim that Biden's plan would harm Missouri-based student loan servicer known as the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA). They noted MOHELA did not itself bring the lawsuit.

The court's rulings on the matter are due by the end of June.

 

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One of the local TV stations has an article on their website, quoting a few adult children that said “I didn’t know it was going to be this big of a burden.  No student should have to deal with this.”  And then goes on to say, after 4 years of college already, she plans to study law after she graduates from UW-Milwaukee.  WHAT did you do the first 4 fucking years??

Cry me a fucking river, go get a job, or a second job and suck it up butter cup…

And now, the Repugs (as some like to call them here) in Sconnie are proposing limiting U of Wisconsin tuition increases.   THIS is where the damn focus should be, the failed academy’s have been the ones raping kids, not US tax payers…

Edited by Mag6240
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2 minutes ago, ArcticCrusher said:

If judges weren't bought off it would be 9-0.

They're only bought off when you disagree with them.

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4 minutes ago, Mag6240 said:

One of the local TV stations has an article on their website, quoting a few adult children that said “I didn’t know it was going to be this big of a burden.  No student should have to deal with this.”  And then goes on to say, after 4 years of college already, she plans to study law after she graduates from UW-Milwaukee.  WHAT did you do the first 4 fucking years??

Cry me a fucking river, go get a job, or a second job and suck it up butter cup…

And now, the Repugs (as some like to call them here) in Sconnie are proposing limiting U of Wisconsin tuition increases.   THIS is where the damn focus should be, the failed academy’s have been the ones raping kids, not US tax payers…

It took me 7 years to cash flow my masters degree with help from my employer.  Its not that hard to figure out.

Cost are insane now though.  Today, my undergrad degree would be just over $100k and my masters another ~$90k.  Those are commuter prices too, not including housing/dorms/meal plan.

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38 minutes ago, Steve753 said:

They're only bought off when you disagree with them.

I do find it strange that liberals and conservatives can read the constitution and come up with completely different rulings. 

This one should be pretty simple....sadly, some justices will still make shit up. 

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19 minutes ago, SkisNH said:

I do find it strange that liberals and conservatives can read the constitution and come up with completely different rulings. 

This one should be pretty simple....sadly, some justices will still make shit up. 

Dam right it's an easy decision.  But nowadays it only matters what party you belong too. 

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14 minutes ago, NaturallyAspirated said:

I’ll pay for my kids tech school degrees, if they want 4 years+ they better learn to dance the pole!

Neal

If I had a son I would recommend being a lineman to him....if I thought he was owner material, I would say plumbing contractor.  Crazy money in those 2 fields right now.

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Just now, SkisNH said:

If I had a son I would recommend being a lineman to him....if I thought he was owner material, I would say plumbing contractor.  Crazy money in those 2 fields right now.

Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, concrete work.  Anything with a pair of Levi’s and a butt crack is $$.   And will be so into the future.

Neal

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9 minutes ago, NaturallyAspirated said:

Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, concrete work.  Anything with a pair of Levi’s and a butt crack is $$.   And will be so into the future.

Neal

Just saw an article in the WSJ on the shortage of electricians.  We are trying to electrify basically everyone and there is no one to run the wires.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-is-trying-to-electrify-there-arent-enough-electricians-4260d05b?st=1bzstjsl6b97nzw&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

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11 minutes ago, NaturallyAspirated said:

Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, concrete work.  Anything with a pair of Levi’s and a butt crack is $$.   And will be so into the future.

Neal

I have an easier time getting electricians and hvac guys than plumbers....concrete I would specialize in flatwork and decorative. 

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1 minute ago, teamgreen02 said:

Just saw an article in the WSJ on the shortage of electricians.  We are trying to electrify basically everyone and there is no one to run the wires.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-is-trying-to-electrify-there-arent-enough-electricians-4260d05b?st=1bzstjsl6b97nzw&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

I was talking to a buddy who’s kid didn’t fill out for college sports like they were hoping.  Said his boy is taking over the mowing business they had and is going professional.  Small business loans are fantastic apparently??  Can get into a low cost governors home with FHA.  

It can be done.  
 

Neal

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22 minutes ago, SkisNH said:

If I had a son I would recommend being a lineman to him....if I thought he was owner material, I would say plumbing contractor.  Crazy money in those 2 fields right now.

My boy is a self employed plumber, kicking all the ass in the world, and my son in law is a lineman, making more than I could ever hope to.

 

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Both my kids will graduate in April with Fire Protection Associate degrees and zero debt. They will both also have their EMT certificates. My son is working on getting into a wild land fire gig in Montana. My daughter wants to find a department closer to home and maybe go on for her paramedic. They're both on the local volunteer department also. They won't make the $$ a plumber or electrician can make, but they'll have time for a second career if they want one. 

I've taken out student loans twice, first for my associates and then my bachelors. Both are paid back in full. The wife and I wanted them to be debt free to start so we paid for their tech degrees. They're good kids and I like to think they're doing things right.

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3 hours ago, SkisNH said:

If I had a son I would recommend being a lineman to him....if I thought he was owner material, I would say plumbing contractor.  Crazy money in those 2 fields right now.

People will disagree with me but there’s good money to be made in automotive too. No complaints here. 2 year associates degree and that was only because my currently employer requires it. Cost me $15k sadly. I already had all of the certifications the college wanted for my graduation capstone before I even started. I know a few guys who are already getting into EV battery repair. Damn good money in that already and it’s only going to get bigger. 

As far as this student loan relief bullshit, I agree that people need to pay their bills. On the other hand, this country is BLEEDING money to many more worse things than this right now and I think it’s hilarious that there are so many people in an uproar over this but just shaking their heads at the rest. 

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