Pelosi Statement Cited In Student Debt Majority Opinion

( – The recent Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Biden v. Nebraska dealt a significant blow to President Joe Biden’s agenda. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the Secretary of Education does not have the authority to waive student loans– and he even cited former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, thus hindering Biden’s promise to alleviate the burden of federal student debt.

Pelosi’s statement was cited in Roberts’ ruling, “People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not,” which comes to hurt Biden’s attempt to fulfill his promise to waive federal student loans.

President Biden had attempted to use the authority in the HEROES Act to wipe out student debt. The HEROES actgives authority to the Secretary of Education to, “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs under Title IV.” However, this only gives authority to postpone or extend when payments for loans occur– not to waive them altogether, which would take legislation in Congress.

With a divided Congress, it will be daunting, and perhaps impossible, for Biden to get legislation past Congress that would eliminate student debt.

The student loan ruling is one of a recent string of historic SCOTUS decisions; the others found affirmative action unconstitutional and upheld the free speech clause of the First Amdendment with regard to religious belief.

In Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, Chief Justice John Roberts held that affirmative action in the college admissions process is unconstitutional. This decision has significant implications for institutions using race-based admissions policies, and the college admissions process at large.

And in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch held that anti-discrimination law could not override the free speech clause of the first amendment. This ruling emphasized that anti-discrimination laws cannot undermine or infringe on freedom of expression and in this instance religious beliefs.

These rulings underscore the impact of the Supreme Court and the challenges the Biden administration has ahead of his 2024 re-election campaign.

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