Home » What you should know about Supreme Court hearings on the fate of student loan debt relief

What you should know about Supreme Court hearings on the fate of student loan debt relief

by The Grio

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two unprecedented cases – Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown – to determine whether President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief program would prevail.

This comes months after The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an injunction halting forgiveness nationwide, leaving many borrowers in limbo about what will happen with their student loans.

In August 2022, Biden announced a plan to eliminate up to $20,000 in federal student debt for borrowers who received a Pell Grant and up to $10,000 for borrowers who did not receive the grant to help citizens combat financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, an individual has to make less than $125,000 or the total household income must be less than $250,000, as theGrio previously reported.

During Tuesday’s oral arguments, Justice Sonia Sotomayor condemned the six GOP lead states for putting the fate of millions of borrowers in the hands of the Supreme Court’s nine justices.

Sotomayor noted that while “50 million students will benefit” from Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, the injunction means that “they are going to continue to suffer from this pandemic in a way that the general population doesn’t.”

She added, “What you’re saying is now we’re going to give judges the right to decide how much aid to give them instead of the person with the expertise and the experience – the secretary of education – who’s been dealing with educational issues and the problems surrounding student loans.”

In the Biden v Nebraska case, states contend that their economies will be greatly impacted by the student debt forgiveness program. 

Nebraska Solicitor General James A. Campbell, one of the attorneys representing the states, called the student loan debt forgiveness program “unlawful” and alleged that “no statute…

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