Chief Justice Roberts uses Pelosi's words against Biden in student loan forgiveness ruling

By Jen Krausz on
 July 2, 2023

In his opinion striking down President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness executive order, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts used a 2021 statement by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) against the commander in chief's plan.

"As then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi explained :'People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not,’" Roberts quoted from Pelosi’s July 28, 2021, press conference. "‘He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.’"

The Court's majority agreed with Pelosi's statement, striking down Biden's plan to give $20,000 in forgiveness to low-income Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 to other borrowers with moderate incomes.

The ruling is one indication that Biden has overstepped his executive authority; other similar rulings may follow this one based on other actions he has taken.

Student loan forgiveness has been controversial because it would force non-college-educated taxpayers to subsidize the college debt of many with college degrees, which typically have higher incomes than those who didn't attend college.

It's reverse-income redistribution in many cases, which doesn't make sense for Democrats to support, except that it's a giveaway to colleges and universities, which are mostly liberal.