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Supreme Court blocks Biden’s plan to cancel student debt

Supreme Court blocks Biden's plan to cancel student debt

The Supreme Court has rejected the Biden administration’s attempt to cancel more than $400 billion in student loan debt, a major setback for the president’s agenda.

The court ruled 6-3 that the administration lacked the legal authority to forgive the debt without congressional approval. The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican-led states, who argued that the plan was unconstitutional and unfair to taxpayers.

Biden had proposed to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower as part of his Covid-19 relief package, saying it would help millions of Americans struggling with debt and boost the economy. He also pledged to expand existing programs that offer debt relief for public service workers and income-based repayment plans.

However, the court said that the president’s plan exceeded his executive power and violated the separation of powers principle. The majority opinion, written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said that only Congress has the power to appropriate funds and cancel debts owed to the federal government.

The court also rejected the administration’s argument that the plan was necessary to address the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, saying that it was not narrowly tailored to achieve that goal. The court said that the plan would benefit many borrowers who were not financially affected by Covid-19, and that it would impose a huge burden on the federal budget and future generations.

The dissenting opinion, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said that the court’s ruling was based on a “misunderstanding” of the president’s authority and the nature of student debt. She said that the president had acted within his discretion to provide relief to borrowers who were facing “crushing” debt and limited opportunities. She also said that the court’s decision would undermine the federal government’s ability to respond to emergencies and promote the public welfare.

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