“It's a Debtors’ Prison” - Student Loan Borrowers Call for All Debt to Be Canceled as Supreme Court Decision Looms

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Jun 30, 2023

Supreme Court in the United States

The US Supreme Court justices are expected to release a decision on President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on Friday, June 30, before their term ends for summer recess.

Under Biden’s proposed student debt relief program, over 40 million Americans will have the opportunity to receive $10,000 to $20,000 in loan forgiveness, Erudera.com reports.

Although many borrowers want the court to vote in favor of the plan, some hold little hope and are not counting on it.

“Erasing 10k of my student debt would be outstanding, but I’m not counting on it. I didn’t think much of it as politicians promise things all the time and never follow through," Nick Shaffer, a 23-year-old graduate from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said.

Others argue the plan is not a long-term solution and the debt should be all canceled.

Michael Chaney, a 57-year-old truck driver from Ohio, says even if the court approves the plan, it will not have any impact because debt has been paid back several times over. He said that bankruptcy protection back to student loans is needed.

“People have no way out of these loans. This is a debtors’ prison! I just got my credit good due to the pause from these predatory student loans, and now my credit will be shot. I am not paying. The loans just increase and never go down,” Chaney told Erudera.

Biden unveiled his student loan forgiveness plan for the first time in August last year, but it was quickly paused in September before it could provide any relief to student loan borrowers. Six-Republican states sued the administration, trying to halt the plan to forgive student debt. They accuse the President of overstepping his powers in directing the government to cancel the debt.

The court agreed to consider two lawsuits challenging Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan. The court’s majority expressed skepticism over the plan’s legality at a hearing in February.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that colleges and universities are no longer permitted to use race as a determining factor in their admission process, a significant decision overturning a longstanding precedent. A plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, challenging their race-based programs.

“The Harvard and UNC admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause. Both programs lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points. We have never permitted admissions programs to work in that way, and we will not do so today,” Chief Justice John Roberts noted in the court’s 237-paged opinion.

Only three justices supported the program at UNC, and six were against it, while at Harvard, six justices voted against it, and two justices voted in favor.

>> Supreme Court’s Decision Day on Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Approaching, Expert Says It Will Be a 5-4 Decision

Image source: Adam Szuscik | Unsplash

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