WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – The Supreme Court heard two cases on Tuesday about whether the Biden administration can legally forgive student loans as crowds rallied for the high court to allow the program to move forward.
Channing Hill and Larry Smith Jr. were in the large crowd of young people outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday, urging the justices to uphold President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.
“It’s about making sure we have equitable access to education,” said Hill, a Howard University student.
“It’s very hard for out-of-state students… to afford tuition, room and board. I myself am a resident assistant. If I was not an RA, I would have nowhere to live,” said Smith Jr., of IAmQueens.
Biden’s plan would forgive up to $10,000 for many income-eligible people and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
According to the Biden administration, some 26 million people have applied for student loan forgiveness and 16 million have already been approved.
However, their loans haven’t been forgiven yet because the program is on hold due to lawsuits — including one brought by six Republican-led states to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
“It’s Biden’s crooked bail-out. It’s illegal. It’s unconstitutional. It’s wrong for working families across the nation,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said.
The states argue, among other things, that it’s unfair for taxpayers who didn’t attend college to foot the bill of those who did.
But Hill said the program will help improve the lives of those struggling with debt.
Hill explained “this affects Black people disproportionately than it affects other populations and it affects poor people disproportionately than it affects other populations.”