Supreme Court Strikes Down President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness, A Plan Aimed To Decrease America’s Racial Wealth Gap

The conservative-leaning Supreme Court strikes again. One day after ending Affirmative Action, the high court struck down President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in federal student loans.

The court denied millions of Americans the chance to get up to $20,000 of their debt erased. In its decision, the court ruled that the president didn’t have the authority to instruct the Education secretary to cancel consumer debt without authorization from Congress. 

The forgiveness plan came under attack by a group in Wisconsin that claimed President Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt violates federal law by intentionally seeking to narrow the racial wealth gap and help Black borrowers.

The allegation is among the claims in a lawsuit filed by conservative the group Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of the Brown County Taxpayers Association. The complaint relied on arguments of executive overreach. 

The White House has said it could help narrow the racial wealth gap and advance racial equity. However, the lawsuit claimed that those statements constitute an “improper racial motive” and violate the constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

The president’s policy would have canceled up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year, or less than $250,000 for married couples. Those who received Pell Grants, federal aid for lower-income students, could see up to $20,000 forgiven.

There are no racial criteria for loan forgiveness. But because of the disparities in who holds student loans, the cancellation policy could have helped Black borrowers more. 

The White House believed that program would have begin to address the racial wealth disparity. It has framed as a way to give Americans a stronger financial outcome following the pandemic.



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