Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Biden v. Nebraska invalidating the President’s student debt relief program.

In response to the ruling, Democracy Forward President & CEO Skye Perryman issued the following statement: 

The real tragedy of the Supreme Court’s decision in Biden v. Nebraska is that millions of students and people who have pursued higher education across the nation are left in the balance. The decision runs counter to two dozen of the nation’s leading legal scholars and an architect of the HEROES Act who submitted briefs to the Court explaining that the President’s debt relief plan was necessary, lawful, and appropriate. 

This decision is a loss for democracy, the separation of powers, and the ability of Congress to empower federal agencies to take appropriate actions that benefit the American people in times of crisis. 

For decades, there has been a well-funded, highly-coordinated effort by right-wing actors to use the courts to create doctrines that fly in the face of basic principles of democracy and representative government.  While challenges to agency actions have long involved questions of whether the action is within agency authority– and these are appropriate inquiries–some are using the concept of the “major questions doctrine” in ways that have never been recognized by the law. These efforts appear to have succeeded today, to the detriment of millions of Americans and to the ability of our government to meet the needs of people in times of crisis.