The Supreme Court just set a date to hear Biden's student-loan forgiveness case, which will decide the fate of millions of borrowers

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Biden's student-loan forgiveness on February 28.

  • It will take on the two lawsuits that have paused the debt relief so far.

  • Biden recently extended the student-loan payment pause in light of the legal challenges.

President Joe Biden's student-loan forgiveness is officially in the Supreme Court's book.

On Monday, the nation's highest court announced it will be taking on both lawsuits that challenged Biden's debt relief on February 28.

After Biden announced up to $20,000 in debt cancellation for borrowers making under $125,000 a year at the end of August, a number of conservative-backed lawsuits arose seeking to block the relief, and two of them have temporarily succeeded so far. One lawsuit, filed by six Republican-led states, argued the debt relief would hurt their states' tax revenues and that of Missouri-based student-loan company MOHELA. The other lawsuit was filed by two student-loan borrowers who sued because they did not qualify for the full $20,000 of relief.

Two lower courts that received each of those cases ruled that Biden's loan forgiveness plan should remain on pause until the Supreme Court makes a final decision on the legality of the relief.

With regards to the lawsuit filed by the GOP-led states, the Supreme Court will consider these two questions: Whether the Republican-led states that filed the lawsuit have standing, and whether Biden's plan to cancel student debt exceeds the Education Secretary's authority or is "arbitrary and capricious."

For the lawsuit filed by the two student-loan borrowers, the Supreme Court will address whether the plaintiffs in the case have standing, and whether Biden's debt relief was implemented in a "procedurally proper manner."

The question of authority has loomed over Biden's debt relief plan even before he officially announced it. Biden used the HEROES Act of 2003 to cancel student debt, which gives the Education Secretary the ability to waive or modify student-loan balances in connection with a national emergency, like COVID-19.

But the lawsuits, along with some Republican lawmakers, have argued that Biden overstepped the authority granted under the HEROES Act, and enacting broad debt relief should require Congressional approval. While Biden's administration has maintained confidence it will prevail in court, some advocates and Democratic lawmakers have argued he could use the Higher Education Act of 1965 instead to forgive student loans, which would not require the existence of a national emergency.

For now, millions of borrowers remain in limbo as they wait for a Supreme Court ruling. Biden recently announced an extension of the student-loan payment pause as a result of the lawsuits through June 30 or whenever the lawsuits are resolved — whichever comes first. But should Biden's broad debt relief plan ultimately get struck down, it's unclear at this point what would come next for borrowers.

Read the original article on Business Insider