Student Debt Relief Plan Killed by Supreme Court – Rolling Stone

student debt

The court’s six conservatives invalidated President Biden’s plan to wipe away $400 billion in student debt

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that President Joe Biden’s student debt relief is unconstitutional, and that the 43 million Americans who stood to see some much-needed financial relief — and the 20 million who would have had their debt wiped out completely — are back to being shit out of luck.

The court invalidated Biden’s program — re-saddling millions with thousands of dollars in debt they didn’t have yesterday — with a 6-3 vote, along ideological lines. Justice Elena Kagan wrote the dissenting opinion. “The result here is that the Court substitutes itself for Congress and the Executive Branch in making national policy about student-loan forgiveness,” she wrote. “Congress authorized the forgiveness plan (among many other actions); the Secretary put it in place; and the President would have been accountable for its success or failure. But this Court today decides that some 40 million Americans will not receive the benefits the plan provides, because (so says the Court) that assistance is too “significant.’”

The White House announced after the decision came down that Biden “will make clear he’s not done fighting yet” and will announce “new actions to protect student loan borrowers.” 

Biden announced the plan — which would have primarily impacted low-income Americans saddled with student debt — last August.

Republicans threw a fit, describing the plan as “socialism,” “unfair,” and a “slap in the face” to those who paid for college. “I will never apologize for helping Americans, especially not to the same folks who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut that mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations,” Biden responded.

The conservative outrage over the government trying to make things easier for tens of millions Americans soon begat a lawsuit alleging Biden couldn’t forgive student debt with Congress signing off on it first. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals put a temporary hold on the plan last October. The Supreme Court struck the death blow on Friday.


Even after adjusting for inflation, average college tuition has risen by 169 percent in the last 40 years, according to data from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, and 70 percent of American students now graduate with some amount of debt.

The ruling came on the final day of the court’s nine-month term, and a day after it struck down race-based affirmative action in college admissions. The court ruled that businesses can discriminate against gay people earlier on Friday.

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