Biden In New Political Struggle Against Supreme Court

Biden In New Political Struggle Against Supreme Court

( – The Biden administration had a significant setback to its agenda on waiving student loans when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made a 6-3 ruling in Biden v. Nebraska, which determined that the HEROES Act does not give the Secretary of Education the authority to waive student loans. While it was decided that waiving federal student loans would require Congressional legislation, Biden is now advancing a plan to circumvent Congress once again on the issue of loan forgiveness.

Rather than citing the HEROES Act, Biden will attempt to use the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to waive student loans in a process called negotiated rulemaking. This process could take one or two years, putting the implementation of waiving student loans within the re-election campaign. Biden’s rhetoric recently has shifted ahead of the 2024 campaign, where he has pivoted toward framing SCOTUS as a political entity rather than its own independent branch of government. While Biden has refused to pack the courts, his political rhetoric against it as “not a normal court” could ramp up to legislation overhauling the court via term limits or other potential reforms.

Critics of the persistence of Biden to waive student loans without Congress highlight the political expediency this could have for earning the votes of those who have loans. Ahead of the 2024 election, in a recent Emerson poll, Biden is sitting at a job disapproval rating of 51%, yet is leading the Democratic field as the incumbent with a lead of 56 points over runner-up Robert Kennedy Jr. While this lead certainly solidifies a re-nomination of the President, primaries in the past two decades have typically had incumbents win in the high 80s or low 90s, meaning that President Biden will need to ensure that his base is united going into the 2024 general election.

Biden’s rhetoric against the court and for waiving student loans serves well politically for a primary, but the President should be careful as politicizing the judiciary could lead to instability and further distrust in the branch.

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