Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden’s Student-Loan Forgiveness Plan

from The Wall Street Journal,

The Supreme Court threw out the Biden administration’s plan to forgive student loans held by 40 million Americans, ending a $430 billion program the White House considers a crucial way to cement the president’s support among younger Americans. The 6-3 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts said that while Education Secretary Miguel Cardona holds some power under federal law to alter the terms of student aid programs, the massive plan he approved last year vastly exceeded the authority Congress delegated to the executive branch. The Heroes Act, which permits the secretary to modify the programs to respond to emergencies, doesn’t permit him “to rewrite that statute from the ground up,” Roberts wrote, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Writing in dissent for the court’s three liberals, Justice Elena Kagan said the majority had read into the law a restriction that wasn’t there. The law’s text doesn’t expressly limit the secretary’s judgment about the waivers or modifications needed to deal with an emergency, she wrote. “That may have been a good idea, or it may have been a bad idea. Either way, it was what Congress said,” she wrote, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Beyond its financial implications, the case brought to the fore vastly different views of executive power espoused by the White House and the Supreme Court. President Biden has at times sought to take aggressive actions in response to economic, immigration and other crises as partisan divisions hobble Congress.

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