Is Student Loan Forgiveness Still Possible? Maybe

The Supreme Court is currently deliberating the legality of President Joe Biden's program aimed at providing relief for student loans. After hearing oral arguments on February 28, the Justices are expected to reach a decision in June. The ruling will have a significant impact on millions of borrowers nationwide.

Hanging On

The Supreme Court is currently deliberating the fate of President Joe Biden's student loan relief program, which aims to provide relief for millions of borrowers across the United States. The program is being challenged in court for being an executive overreach due to its use of the HEROES Act. While the court is primarily conservative, there is still a chance for the program to survive based on the argument of lawsuits' standing.

At the federal level, Article 3 standing prohibits legal action based solely on the displeasure of an individual or group with a government action or law. The Supreme Court has established a three-part test to determine whether a party has standing to sue, which includes proving an injury in fact, a causal connection, and a likelihood of redress.

Failure to establish standing can result in the dismissal of the case.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that the lawsuits challenging the program lacked standing during the oral arguments. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson also noted that standing is important because it prevents a torrent of lawsuits from entities and individuals who do not have a personal stake in the outcome.

The fate of the program now hinges on whether the plaintiffs can prove their standing in court. If the court decides that the lawsuits do not have standing, the claims for relief will be dismissed without any decision on the merits of the claims. However, if the plaintiffs can prove their standing, the court will move forward with the arguments on whether the program is an executive overreach. The decision, which is expected in June, will have a significant impact on millions of borrowers across the country.

Still a Chance

While the Justices heard oral arguments on several aspects of the case, they spent most of their time discussing the issue of standing. Without standing, the Court lacks the authority to decide whether the program is legal, and the case would be dismissed.

Abby Shafroth, the director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center, stated that it is possible the Court could side with the plaintiffs and recognize its limits on authority by dismissing the case for lack of Article Three standing. Once the standing issue is established, the Court will move on to the heart of the debate, namely whether the program is unconstitutional and whether the HEROES Act provides the necessary authority to grant relief from student loans.

The Justice Department argued in support of the program that the HEROES Act authorized the Secretary to reduce or cancel the principal balances of student loans for a broad class of borrowers. However, Judge Mark T. Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that the program was an unconstitutional exercise of Congress's legislative power and vacated it.

Pittman argued that the Constitution provides for three distinct and independent branches of government, and the country is not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone. The Court's decision, expected in June, will have a significant impact on millions of borrowers nationwide, and the outcome remains uncertain.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.