SCOTUS Hears Oral Argument in Cases Challenging Biden Administration Student Loan Forgiveness Plan: Observations and Predictions

March 23, 2023
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On February 28, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard nearly four hours of oral argument in two separate cases challenging the Biden Administration’s authority to proceed with its plan to forgive approximately $400 billion in federal student loans. After reviewing the background of the two cases, we look at the three key issues: the plaintiffs’ theories for why they have standing to challenge the plan, the Administration’s reliance on the HEROES Act as authority for the plan, and the applicability of the “major questions” doctrine to the Court’s analysis. We then discuss the questions asked and views expressed by the Justices about these issues, what they portend for how individual Justices are likely to rule, how the Administration is likely to proceed if it prevails, potential Administration actions in response to an adverse decision, and when we expect SCOTUS to issue its decision. We conclude with a discussion of a new lawsuit challenging the Administration’s moratorium on federal student loan payments.

Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, hosts the conversation joined by Tom Burke, a partner in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group.

View the recording transcript here. 

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