Educational Advisors

Industry News

How Student Loan Forgiveness Could Win at the Supreme Court

How Student Loan Forgiveness Could Win at the Supreme Court

Inside Higher Ed

Katherine Knott
February 3, 2023
If the Biden administration’s debt-relief plan survives the U.S. Supreme Court, some legal experts say it will likely be because of standing—or rather, the plaintiffs’ lack of it.
The question of standing has been a key theme in the recent legal battle over the Biden administration’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loans for eligible Americans. Critics have to first find plaintiffs who could challenge the plan in federal court, though several federal judges have rejected many of standing theories presented.
Article III of the U.S. Constitution limits the kinds of cases that can be brought through the federal court system in order to prevent the judicial branch from overstepping its bounds, and a series of court opinions has clarified the doctrine of standing. In order to sue in federal court, plaintiffs have to show that they’ve been injured by the policy they are challenging, that the government is responsible for that harm and that the relief sought would redress those injuries. The standing threshold, which is generally higher when suing the federal government, must be cleared first before the court can consider the merits of the case.
In one of two lawsuits to reach the Supreme Court so far, six states—Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina—allege that the debt-relief plan will harm state revenues and agencies that hold student loans. In the other, two Texas residents challenged the debt-relief plan because they wouldn’t benefit from all the provisions and didn’t have the chance to comment on the proposal. The administration called the arguments for standing “highly speculative” and “convoluted” in court filings.
In an effort to shield the debt-relief program from legal challenges, the administration has worked to weaken the standing arguments rather than change the program or the legal justification for it—as some have called on the administration to do. The focus on standing is essentially an effort to cut the lawsuits off at the knees. If the parties challenging the plan can’t clear the standing threshold, then the justices shouldn’t consider the other arguments arguing that the debt-relief plan is illegal.
Legal experts caution that the Supreme Court can do what it wants, though.
Continue Reading

We have worked with schools across the nation who are accredited by national and regional agencies such as:

National Association of Schools of Art and Design