In Biden v. Nebraska, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the conservatives and invalidated a student loan rescue program implemented by former President Joe Biden’s administration. The court concluded, essentially, that the administration exceeded the authority delegated to it by Congress in the form of an act. Chief Justice Roberts announced the decision reached by the majority.
Roberts wrote, “Last year, the Secretary of Education established the first comprehensive student loan forgiveness program, invoking the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) for authority to do so. The Secretary’s plan canceled roughly $430 billion of federal student loan balances, completely erasing the debts of 20 million borrowers and lowering the median amount owed by the other 23 million from $29,400 to $13,600…Six States sued, arguing that the HEROES Act does not authorize the loan cancellation plan. We agree.”
Greg Price sarcastically noted in the ruling that “Justice Roberts cited Nancy Pelosi in the majority opinion when she said Biden doesn’t have the power to cancel student debt.”
HAHAHAHAHA Justice Roberts cited Nancy Pelosi in the majority opinion when she said Biden doesn't have the power to cancel student debt. pic.twitter.com/mhhyniRPpa
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 30, 2023
In a concurrence opinion, Justice Barrett stated, “[h]ere, enough of those indicators are present to demonstrate that the Secretary has gone far “beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted” in the HEROES Act…Our decision today does not “trump” the statutory text, nor does it make this Court the “arbiter” of “national policy….Instead, it gives Congress’s words their best reading.”
Barrett’s concurrence provided value since it “indicates that the significant questions doctrine “reinforces” the majority’s decision “but is not necessary to it,” according to Amy Howe, a legal blogger at SCOTUSblog. She had earlier mentioned that Roberts had cited “the major questions doctrine,” which holds that Congress must explicitly state its intentions if it intends to grant an administrative body the authority to make “decisions of vast economic and political significance.” However, Roberts claims that no authorization—much less a clear authorization—is present here.
Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative filmmaker and commentator, lauded the verdict as a “massive ruling.”
Massive ruling comes down.https://t.co/EFEuthoCb7
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 30, 2023
The Federalist magazine’s CEO, Sean Davis, declared that the “SCOTUS has nuked Biden’s unconstitutional college debt cancellation scheme.”
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 30, 2023