Another Supreme Court ruling resulted in the the Left acting apoplectic in the last week of judicial decisions when it struck down the Biden administration’s student loan program, which was marketed as a student loan forgiveness program.
The vote was 6-3 and the majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who also wrote the opinion for the affirmative action decision. In his opinion, Roberts wrote that the Biden’s interpretation of federal law was an example of significant overreach. The White House’s claim that it only modified the student loan program was “in the same sense that the French Revolution ‘modified’ the status of the French nobility – it has abolished them and supplanted them with a new regime entirely.”
In other words, Roberts said that the White House’s claim was nonsensical.
The dissenting opinion, written by Associate Justice Elena Kagan, disagreed that the Biden administration overstepped their authority. Kagan claimed that this ruling “is a major problem not just for governance, but for democracy too” and could lead to the Supreme Court becoming “the arbiter – indeed, the maker – of national policy.”
The plaintiffs were six states with Republican attorneys general, particularly Missouri. Missouri sued because it has its own student loan organization called the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). MOHELA could have been on the hook for up to $44 million per year due to the student loan program.
Overall, the basis of this lawsuit was that existing federal laws did not allow for unilateral executive action.
Conservatives pointed out that it was an executive, unconstitutional declaration by fiat from the Biden White House. Some of the conservatives’ political arguments were that Biden’s program would have to be paid for by taxpayers who either paid back their student loan debt on their own or these same taxpayers avoided incurring student loan debt.
But the outcry from the Left was very emotional. The Biden administration claimed it would have benefitted 43 million Americans and about half would have had all their loans forgiven. Also, the program would have canceled up to $20,000 in student loans. None of the public criticisms from the Left coherently explained the legal basis behind their opinions on the ruling.
President Joe Biden said that the Court’s decision was “wrong” and that his administration will “provide more detail” on next steps to push for student loan forgiveness.
Biden’s Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, posted on the social media platform Twitter, “SCOTUS ruled against students & families across the country. It’s an outrage that lawsuits brought on by Republicans have blocked critical student debt relief that would have been a lifeline for 40 million+ Americans—nearly 90% of whom make less than $75k a year.”
Teachers’ union presidents Randi Weingarten (American Federation of Teachers) and Becky Pringle (National Education Association) also blasted the court’s ruling. Weingarten, on Twitter, said the ruling was “a full-frontal attack on young people’s futures. If you or your family has the ability and means, you can succeed, but if you’re a struggler or striver, you’re on your own.”
Pringle wrote on Twitter, “This Supreme Court decision fails to recognize the realities faced by student loan borrowers today.” She concluded, “Despite our disappointment, we will continue to work with the Biden Administration to #CancelStudentDebt & create an education system that is affordable and accessible to all.”
As is typical for Weingarten and Pringle, neither of them acknowledged the legal arguments in their criticisms and relied on political rhetoric to make their point.
Professors also criticized the ruling, with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) saying that “millions of student-loan borrowers reel” from the ruling. But AAUP promised to “continue our fight for affordable access to higher education for all students.” AAUP’s Twitter account also reposted an opinion editorial that pushed for an alternative way to forgive student loans.
The liberal mainstream media chimed in, too, with the narrative that there was no more hope for people who borrowed tens of thousands of dollars to fund their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Yet none of the news coverage discussed the legal underpinnings of the ruling and how Biden’s program would have been unfair for responsible taxpayers who paid back their student loans.
One of the most interesting statements from one of the plaintiffs, Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers, when he said that the Court’s ruling “is a timely reminder that the President is no king.”