Supreme Court Hears Appeal for Biden Student Loan Cancellation

Skeptical justices point to major questions doctrine.

The Supreme Court heard arguments for the appeal from President Biden’s administration to reconsider the legality of President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel $430 billion in student debt. This measure would cancel $10,000 of federal student debt for each American making less than $125,000 annually. President Biden’s administration claims they can do this through the 2003 federal law the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, which allows the education secretary to “waive or modify” student financial assistance during war or national emergencies.

Certain justices pushed back on the notion that this plan was a mere modification of student loan policy, claiming that such a large change would trigger the major questions doctrine. The major questions doctrine is in play when even perfectly accurate legal interpretations carry “vast economic or political significance,” allowing the court to overturn certain large-scale administrative decisions to maintain the status quo.

“In effect, this is a grant of $400 billion,” Justice Clarence Thomas said, “and it runs headlong into Congress’ appropriations authority.”

“We like to usually leave situations of that sort when you’re talking about spending the government’s money, which is the taxpayers’ money, to the people in charge of the money, which is Congress,” he said. “Why isn’t that a factor that should enter into our consideration under the major questions doctrine?”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for the justices as they consider the arguments for and against federal student loan forgiveness.
  • For the Supreme Court justices as they determine the other cases they will hear this term.
  • For all the justices and judges in the federal judiciary to seek God’s guidance as they return decisions.

Sources: Reuters, CBS News


Back to top