Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court of the United States ruled today that President Biden did not have the legal authority to provide up to $20,000 in needed COVID-19 relief to millions of eligible borrowers.
Relying upon the emergency authority created by the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act), the Biden administration sought to cancel federal student loan debt to address the financial harms of the pandemic. However, the plan was quickly blocked by a federal appeals court after it faced a series of legal challenges.
Though the Court correctly rejected one of the challenges by unanimously holding that the plaintiffs had no legal right to sue, it struck down the Administration's proposal by expanding the ability of activist states to file claims based merely upon the fact that a potentially affected, private organization is located in their state.
Jaylon Herbin, director of federal campaigns at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), made the following statement:
We strongly oppose the Supreme Court’s unsupported termination of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan. The decision sets a dangerous precedent that allows third parties to assert legal standing, opening the door to more frivolous lawsuits against emergency policies designed to protect Americans, stimulate the economy and put more money in the pockets of hardworking borrowers.
We urge President Biden to explore all his options, including using his executive and statutory authority, to provide student loan debt relief to the millions of Americans who will face increased financial insecurity when payments restart.
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