On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it will hold arguments on a second attempt to revive President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan brought forward by two student loan borrowers. The case will be heard in February alongside a separate challenge to the plan brought forward by six states.
The case the Supreme Court said it would take up Monday involves challenges brought by Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor. Under Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, Brown is ineligible for relief because her loans are held by commercial entities instead of the Education Department. Taylor is eligible for $10,000 in loan relief under the plan, but not the higher $20,000 the plan would forgive under a Pell Grant.
In a brief order, the Supreme Court said it would first consider if Brown and Taylor had standing to bring their lawsuit and, if they did, if the plan was lawful.
Their lawsuit led to the original injunction that blocked the plan that was issued by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Texas, who said Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is “one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.”
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” Pittman continued. “Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government … The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country. But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved. And having interpreted the HEROES Act, the Court holds that it does not provide ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the Program proposed by the Secretary.”
In the other case challenging Biden’s plan, the Supreme Court said on December 1st that it would hear an appeal from the Biden administration involving a challenge brought by six states. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals had similarly ruled against the Biden administration and blocked the plan from continuing.