Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

The student loan case could redefine the limits of presidential power

WASHINGTON — One of President Biden’s most ambitious proposals — a $400 billion program to write off the student loan debt of 40 million Americans — could become the latest victim of a legal standoff with the Court supreme over the powers of the presidency.

The court’s conservative justices signaled on Tuesday that they were deeply skeptical that Mr Biden had the power to write off such a large amount of student debt. During oral arguments, several justices said they thought a program that costs so much and affects so many people should have been more explicitly approved by Congress.

It wasn’t the first time the court has suggested Mr Biden was overstepping his authority, but the case has the potential to curtail Mr Biden’s ambitions, just as newly elected House Republicans have vowed to block everyone. of his movements in Congress.

In Mr. Biden’s first two years in office, the court blocked him from enacting key elements of his agenda, including sweeping measures to address climate change, vaccine requirements at big business and the ban on evictions during the pandemic.

In each case, the court’s conservative majority said the president needed clear congressional approval to pursue such major policies.

The court’s decision to also block the student loan scheme, which is expected to come into effect by the summer, will have a huge impact on millions of borrowers who have struggled to repay their loans.

And it will set additional legal precedents, potentially setting new limits on presidential power.

The decision could have other broad policy implications, forcing Mr. Biden and his allies to reshape their efforts to woo one of the Democratic Party’s most important constituencies ahead of the 2024 campaign: young people.

Instead, the president may have to face voters with a very different message: that despite his best efforts, student debt relief has been thwarted by Republicans who blocked his policy in the Supreme Court.

Asked Wednesday if he was confident the court would rule in favor of the administration, Mr Biden said: “I am confident we are on the right side of the law. I am not yet confident about the outcome of the decision.

The White House does not admit defeat. In court on Tuesday, lawyers for Mr. Biden’s administration argued that Congress had already given the education secretary the power to cancel student debt.

But Mr Biden’s team has already shown a willingness to use the issue to its own political advantage, even if the best it can do is blame Republicans for stopping the plan.

Miguel A. Cardona, the education secretary, emailed tens of millions of Americans who had registered for relief on Tuesday.

How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staffers can vote, they are not allowed to support or campaign for political candidates or causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or donating money or raising funds for any political candidate or electoral cause.

“While opponents of this program would refuse to provide relief to tens of millions of working-class and middle-class Americans,” Cardona wrote in the email, “we are fighting to bring relief to the borrowers who need help as they recover from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

If the court blocks the program, the administration can continue to use the mailing list to communicate with millions of potential voters about why they are not getting the relief Mr. Biden and his team promised.

Max Lubin, chief executive of Rise, a group that has advocated for student debt relief, said the president has a good case to make if Republicans succeed in blocking his debt relief program.

He said the White House could send a message that “you have an alternative in us and we have your back.”

Mr. Lubin added: “I think that’s a very powerful message to send to 25-year-olds.”

Last summer, when he announced his plan, Mr Biden said canceling student loans was essential because “an entire generation is now saddled with unsustainable debt in exchange for trying, at least, to obtain a university degree”.

But without a large majority in Congress to embrace such Democratic priorities, the president has repeatedly turned to executive action, drawing legal objections from his Republican opponents.

Those objections made their way to a Supreme Court, whose membership now includes six conservative and three liberal justices. This left the president on the losing side in several major cases.

The Biden administration’s strained relationship with the Supreme Court has its roots in a case in which the justices ruled against President Donald J. Trump, as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said during closing arguments. of Tuesday.

In that 2020 case, it was the liberals who urged the Supreme Court to stop Mr. Trump from abruptly ending a 2012 Obama-era program that protected about 700,000 young immigrants from immediate deportation.

“The case reminds me of one we had a few years ago under a different administration, where the administration tried to go it alone to cancel the Dreamers program, and we blocked that effort,” he said. . “And I just wonder, given the position of the case and given our historical concern with the separation of powers, you would at least recognize that this is a case that presents extraordinarily serious and important issues on the role of Congress?

That case was decided by a 5-4 vote, with the Chief Justice joining what was then a four-member Liberal wing to form a majority. Dissenting, Justice Clarence Thomas predicted that subsequent administrations would face similar legal hurdles.

“It gave the green light,” he wrote of the tribunal, “for future political battles to be fought in this tribunal rather than where they rightfully belong – the political branches.”

Mr Biden’s struggles over the past two years – including in this week’s student loan case – suggest Judge Thomas was correct in his prediction. After rejecting Mr. Trump’s executive power in 2020, the court is now doing the same for Mr. Biden.

The administration’s record is mixed.

In December, judges ruled that Title 42, a pandemic-era health measure that restricted entry to the southern border, should temporarily remain in place. In June, however, the court ruled the administration could roll back a Trump-era immigration program that required some asylum seekers arriving at the southwest border to wait for approval in Mexico.

And, in a modest victory for Mr. Biden, the court authorized a more limited mandate requiring health care workers at facilities receiving federal funds to be vaccinated.

In the student loan case on Tuesday, the majority of justices appeared ready to impose another limit on how far Mr. Biden can go to respond to the repercussions of the pandemic. At issue is Mr. Biden’s use of a law designed to authorize student loan waivers during a national emergency.

But court watchers said the president could still win the case on technical grounds if judges decide the plaintiffs in the case — Republican attorneys general and two student borrowers — lack standing to sue.

On Wednesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, refused to offer a backup plan in the event of the administration’s defeat.

“We have no other plan,” she told reporters. “This is our project. That’s it. We believe we have the legal authority. That’s why we took the case to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court. And we will continue to fight.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button