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Supreme Court agrees to hear second case against student loan forgiveness program

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a second challenge to President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

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The court said Monday it would hear oral arguments in late February or early March.

The case involves a suit brought by two borrowers, Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor, with outstanding student loans.

Brown and Taylor alleged in their lawsuit against the Department of Education that Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona improperly implemented the debt relief plan without the requirement of the notice-and-comment rule, which gives people the opportunity to comment on proposed programs.

The court will address whether the two have legal standing to bring a suit and whether the plan is “statutorily authorized and was adopted in a procedurally proper manner.”

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case as part of the case brought by six states who claim the president does not have the authority to forgive commercial debt.

No applications for loans have been approved since October when rulings in the two lawsuits against the agency over the program halted processing of applications.

Biden announced earlier this month that he would be extending the pause on paying back federally funded student loan debts until 60 days after the Biden administration is allowed to implement its student loan forgiveness plan and litigation is resolved, according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Education.

If it can’t proceed with its policy and the legal challenges are still unfolding by June 30, 2023, student loan payments will restart 60 days after that.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in February and a ruling is expected near the end of the court’s term in June.

Biden announced the loan forgiveness program in August saying it would allow up to 40 million borrowers to receive $10,000 of student loan forgiveness for those making less than $125,000 a year, or households making less than $250,000.

Pell Grant recipients will be eligible for an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness.

According to the DOE, 26 million people had submitted applications for relief of federally backed student loans with 16 million approved.

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