Saturday, March 4, 2023

Supreme Court Seems Ready to Reject Student Loan Forgiveness; Supreme Court’s Student-Loan Case Will Test Limits of Presidential Power, AND RELATED STORIES

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Supreme Court seems ready to reject student loan forgiveness:
Conservative justices holding the Supreme Court’s majority seem ready to sink President Joe Biden’s plan to wipe away or reduce student loans held by millions of Americans.
In arguments lasting more than three hours Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts led his conservative colleagues in questioning the administration’s authority to broadly cancel federal student loans because of the COVID-19 emergency.
Loan payments that have been on hold since the start of the coronavirus pandemic three years ago are supposed to resume no later than this summer. Without the loan relief promised by the Biden plan, the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer said, “delinquencies and defaults will surge.”
The plan has so far been blocked by Republican-appointed judges on lower courts. It did not appear to fare any better with the six justices appointed by Republican presidents.
Biden’s only hope for being allowed to move forward appeared to be the slim possibility, based on the arguments, that the court would find that Republican-led states and individuals challenging the plan lacked the legal right to sue.
That would allow the court to dismiss the lawsuits at a threshold stage, without ruling on the basic idea of the loan forgiveness program that appeared to trouble the justices on the court’s right side.
Roberts was among the justices who grilled Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar and suggested that the administration had exceeded its authority.
Three times, the chief justice said the program would cost a half-trillion dollars, pointing to its wide impact and hefty expense as reasons the administration should have gotten explicit approval from Congress. The program, which the administration says is grounded in a 2003 law that was enacted in response to the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. is estimated to cost $400 billion over 30 years.
“If you’re talking about this in the abstract, I think most casual observers would say if you’re going to give up that much ... money, if you’re going to affect the obligations of that many Americans on a subject that’s of great controversy, they would think that’s something for Congress to act on,” Roberts said.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested he agreed, saying it “seems problematic” for the administration to use an “old law” to unilaterally implement a debt relief program that Congress had declined to adopt. --->READ MORE HERE
WSJ: Supreme Court’s Student-Loan Case Will Test Limits of Presidential Power:
Arguments begin Tuesday over the Biden administration’s roughly $400 billion plan to forgive federal student debt for tens of millions of borrowers
The Supreme Court will consider sharp curbs to the power of the executive branch in a case beginning Tuesday, potentially diluting the influence of future presidents for years to come.
The conflict between the executive and the judiciary that has been growing in recent years will be on view when the court hears arguments over the Biden administration’s roughly $400 billion plan to forgive federal student debt for tens of millions of borrowers. Two cases before the court give the justices an opportunity to set strict limits over the president’s ability to implement policies without explicit authorization from Congress.
The move would limit President Biden’s ambitions at a moment when he faces few prospects for legislative breakthroughs.
Presidents have tested the bounds of their executive authority for decades, leveraging the power of the White House to put in place sweeping economic and social changes.
In recent years, both Republican and Democratic presidents have relied more heavily on the authority to circumvent congressional gridlock. George W. Bush used executive actions to expand government surveillance, and Barack Obama and Donald Trump issued directives meant to reshape the country’s immigration system.
President Biden has issued economically significant regulations at a near-record pace, according to federal data compiled by the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University. Aides expect him to rely more heavily on executive actions now that Republicans control the House of Representatives.
That strategy is meeting resistance from the Supreme Court, where a 6-3 conservative majority that Mr. Trump helped install has repeatedly found the Biden administration overstepping its authority. The court has adopted a new test, called the major-questions doctrine, that restricts federal agencies from steps with vast economic and political significance without what the majority considers explicit direction from Congress.
The approach stymied the Biden administration’s efforts to extend Covid-19 pandemic measures, including an eviction moratorium and a vaccinate-or-test mandate for large employers. The court also blocked its efforts to overhaul Trump-era immigration policies, and ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency overreached when regulators sought to limit emissions from coal plants.
Mr. Trump relied heavily on executive power to execute his agenda, issuing 200-plus orders in four years in office, more than any president in a single term since Jimmy Carter, according to data compiled by the American Presidency Project. While the court objected to some of Mr. Trump’s actions, it allowed many of them to stand. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

Supreme Court justices' tone on student debt relief signals bad news for Biden

Supreme Court Signals Skepticism on Biden’s Effort to Forgive Student Debt

High court conservatives question Joe Biden student loan debt relief

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