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Joe Biden, Supreme Court, and the Students in the Middle

  • March 21, 2023

On February 28th, 2023 the Supreme Court took time out of their day to debate about President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan. In which up to $20,000 worth of student loan debt could be canceled for low and middle income borrowers, which in turn would get rid of a half-trillion dollars of debt in the United States. Many students who suffer from student loan debt are Millennials (ages 27-42), the rock of the current economy. During the past few years Millennials have suffered financially due to the Pandemic, and now with ongoing inflation it seems 

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NBC News Alejandro Alvarez / Sipa USA via AP file

they can not get a break. Biden made a plan to relieve the stress by pausing the payments during the Pandemic, but that didn’t help this group a lot. Many students still had to pay for housing, food, and other necessities. As far as President Biden was concerned, he was helping borrowers to get on their feet again after the Pandemic. 

Conservative leaning Justices questioned whether President Biden was overstepping the powers of his office. Outside the Supreme Court, students protested the possibility that the much needed relief might not come.  Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the words “waive” and “modify” in the 2002 HEROS Act - Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students, passed under President Bush - do not mean “cancel”. Therefore President Biden is not allowed to forgive the student debt. Justice Brett Kavanaugh made a point to mention “Some of the biggest mistakes in the court’s history were deferring to assertions of executive emergency power.” Implying that a big crisis would occur if President Biden were to use his powers in office to soothe the current big crisis. 

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