MIDLAND, Mich. — In a 6-3 decision in Biden v. Nebraska, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden Administration’s student loan forgiveness program and held that the HEROES Act does not grant the Secretary of Education the unilateral authority to forgive student loan debt. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s related lawsuit regarding the nearly three-year pause of student loan payments will continue.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance and the Mackinac Center filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S Department of Education’s unlawful pause on student loan payments in April. While the initial deferments were lawfully suspended as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March of 2020, subsequent deferments were unilaterally extended without congressional appropriation in September 2020.
“In Biden v. Nebraska, the U.S. Supreme Court has protected taxpayers across the country by ensuring that the executive branch cannot unilaterally cancel debt in the form of widespread loan forgiveness,” said Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center. “Our case argues that the same branch cannot inflict $150 billion of debt on the American people through continued loan deferment and paused interest rates. Congress has said the nearly three-year illegal pause will come to end, but we are continuing our suit to prevent the administration from using other workarounds.”
Both the majority and dissent in Biden v. Nebraska recognized that the question of deferment of student loans has similarities to what was decided today, but the majority made clear that the legality of the repayment pause remains an open question.
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