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U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments to President Biden's student loan debt forgiveness program in two separate cases as the program remains blocked via two separate appeals court injunctions....By Clevelanurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com the most read Black digital newspaper and blog in Ohio and in the Midwest Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com.

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON, D.C. –After agreeing to hear arguments in a case earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court this week agreed to hear arguments in a second case that challenges President Joe Biden's executive order that relieves federal student loan debt for millions of Americans for up to $20,000 per eligible person.

 

Some 16 million people have already been approved for the federal student loan forgiveness but no debt is currently allowed to be canceled as litigation ensues over the controversial matter. The president, however, has extended the federal government’s pause on student loan repayments during the pandemic until June of next year.

 

Both of the aforementioned cases before the Supreme Court will be heard at once in February of next year and both challenge the constitutionality of the student loan forgiveness program as well as the statutory authority of the president and the Department of Education in implementing it in the absence of duly adopted congressional legislation. Also at play are two separate appeals court injunctions issued in the cases that block implementation of the program nationwide, though neither of the trial courts where the cases originated, one in Texas and the other in the state of Missouri, ruled on the merits of the case.

 

In the second case two Texas plaintiffs, Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor, challenged the legality of the program and also filed a request for an injunction as the lawsuit made its way through the courts. The trial court granted the injunction and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals out of New Orleans upheld that ruling on appeal.

The first case was brought by attorneys general for Missouri and five other states, namely Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina  A federal judge, more specifically a President George W. Bush appointee, ruled for President Biden and the federal government and against the six states that brought the lawsuit saying that the states at issue did not have legal standing to bring the litigation. That court did not block the program but the Eighth Circuit Court of appeals, located in St, Louis, Missouri, overruled the court's denial of the injunction request on appeal.

The attorneys general for the six-states plaintiffs argued at the trial court level and on appeal that the program is government overreach and an abuse of the president's authority, and that it takes away from the respective states tax base and puts the entities that finance the loans and affiliated state loan recipients at risk.

A Democrat who ousted former president Donald Trump from the White House via a contentious presidential election in 2020, the president publicly announced his celebrated student loan forgiveness program, which is only applicable to federal student loans, in August from the White House, saying "I made that commitment and I am honoring it today."

 

The long awaited initiative, which liberal critics say is hardly enough to address the country's student loan debt during a debilitating economy, would essentially cancel up to $10,000 of qualifying federal student loan debt and $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. Also to qualify, an individual's annual  income must be $125,000 or less  with married couples capped at $250,000.

The initiative would eliminate applicable non-consolidated federal student loans for up to 32% or 14.6 million borrowers who held less than $10,000 in debt as of the end of last month It  will also erase at least half of the student loan debt held by the 20.5% of borrowers who owe between $10,000 and $20,000, and will serve to  reduce $20,000 to $40,000 owed by another 21.4% of borrowers.

More than 40 million Americans are in student loan debt for seeking an education, owing a cumulative $1.7 trillion, much of it from high government interest rates, penalties and exorbitant collection fees that hurt struggling single mothers, poor people and people of color in a disproportionate fashion.


The NAACP and some Black leaders say the loan forgiveness program does not go far enough and that the president broke a campaign promise to Black voters to forgive more federal student loan debt than the allotted $20,000 or less per individual he has approved for the current plan, a plan that will cost the federal government upwards of an estimated $380 billion.

 

Republicans in Congress, fueled by conservative mainstream media pundits, say that Biden is fiscally irresponsible and too generous with taxpayer money, and that it is not the role of the federal government to forgive its high-price student loans with “handouts.” Republicans call the initiative "a $300 billion student loan bailout."

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief (Coleman is a former biology teacher and a seasoned Black journalist, and an investigative, legal, scientific, and political reporter who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio).

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com the most read Black digital newspaper and blog in Ohio and in the Midwest Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

 

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