Biden’s student debt plan is in the balance as major Supreme Court rulings loom

WASHINGTON — For months, the Biden administration’s ambitious plan to pay off billions of dollars in student loan debt has been frozen, blocked by lower courts, and its fate left in the hands of skeptical conservative justices on the Supreme Court.

The stakes are high, with 43 million people eligible for up to $20,000 in debt relief. The total cost if the program ever goes into effect has been estimated at more than $400 billion, with the administration estimating that 20 million people would have all remaining student loan debt paid off.

The proposal is also politically important to President Joe Biden, as tackling student loan debt was a key promise he made on the 2020 campaign trail to energize younger voters.

But with a conservative-majority Supreme Court suspicious of the executive branch’s sweeping claims, Biden’s plan faces a major hurdle.

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Impending Supreme Court affirmative action ruling has elite universities on edge

The end of June is normally a peaceful time on college campuses. Not this year.

On Zoom calls, in breakout groups and on text message chains, elite school officials are anxiously preparing. In a matter of days, the Supreme Court could bar them from considering race as a factor in the admissions process.

“The truth is that many colleges and universities have been preparing for this day for a long time,” Danielle Holley, incoming president of Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts, said in an interview.

Holley, who has been dean of Howard University School of Law for the past nine years, is well acquainted with the legal arguments for and against the use of race in college admissions. The daughter of two academics, she has studied jurisprudence since she was a young law student. Now, she focuses on the practical implications of what judges might do.

“Race is a critical part of how we do our work in higher education,” he said. “We don’t want our tools taken away or our hands tied behind our backs. … I am extremely concerned.”

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How the Supreme Court made it difficult to nullify the 2024 election

The Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday in a major election case was bad news for John Eastman, a Trump-aligned lawyer who pushed a novel legal theory in his bid to overturn the 2020 election.

Tuesday’s 6-3 ruling rejected a radical version of what has been called the «independent state legislature theory,» which argues that state legislatures have nearly unlimited powers to implement election law, free even from legal review. normal conduct by state courts.

Eastman, a conservative lawyer, had embraced the theory as part of his widely discredited argument that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to refuse to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Then it failed, and the new Supreme Court ruling made it clear that it and similar far-fetched theories won’t work in the 2024 election either.

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