July 07, 2023

Betraying Our Youth: Global Youth Caucus Statement on the Biden v. Nebraska Supreme Court Decision


On June 30th, the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness program was a blow to as many as 43 million people burdened by overwhelming student debt. This ruling raises concerns about the court's impartiality and its commitment to representing the interests of all. 

The six-member conservative majority on the bench decided, instead, to prioritize their extremist ideological agenda and sidelined the needs of those who are struggling to repay their student loans.  We sadly witnessed first-hand the blatant favoritism of justices like Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who have close ties to billionaire GOP donors, and their disregard for the financial plight of millions of students. This completely undermines the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and weathers away any public trust left in the institution and its supposed ability to protect the rights and well-being of the average citizen.

The lack of standing of the six states involved in the case (Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina) also raises questions about the court's justification for its decision. Without a legitimate basis for the ruling, it appears that the court is actively thwarting the democratic process and sidestepping the opportunity to address a critical issue affecting millions of students. In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan questioned the legitimacy of the court’s decision:

They [the six states filing the lawsuit] oppose the [Education] Secretary’s loan cancellation plan on varied policy and legal grounds. But as everyone agrees, those objections are just general grievances; they do not show the particularized injury needed to bring suit... It still contravenes a bedrock principle of standing law—that a plaintiff cannot ride on someone else’s injury…And that means the Court, by deciding this case, exercises authority it does not have. It violates the Constitution.”

To stop the radical extremists who currently wear the judicial robe, we must reevaluate the composition and structure of the Supreme Court. The court should reflect the diversity of the American population and be insulated from partisan influences. Expanding the court and ensuring that justices are appointed based on merit rather than political affiliations will help restore public trust and strengthen the court's ability to serve as a guardian of justice for every citizen.

Chief Justice John Roberts explicitly says in the majority opinion, that it is up to Congress, and not the Executive Branch, to pass any form of relief for the student loan crisis:

One branch of government arrogating to itself power belonging to another…It is the Executive seizing the power of the Legislature.

The court's decision demonstrates the limitations of relying solely on judicial remedies. Legislative action is necessary to provide relief and support to those burdened by student debt. By enacting comprehensive student loan reform, Congress can demonstrate its commitment to the well-being of average citizens and work towards a fairer and more equitable society.

Join the Youth Caucus in contacting your Senator or Representative demanding they pass HR8872, the LOAN Act, sponsored by Federica Wilson, to ensure that bill gets to Biden’s desk!

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down Biden’s student loan debt cancellation, driven by the ultra-right-wing judicial majority (also known as the Sinister Six), highlights the Court's failure to prioritize the interests of more than 40 million tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. It is imperative for Congress to step up, address the student loan crisis, and enact meaningful reform. Additionally, reevaluating the Supreme Court's composition is necessary to restore confidence and ensure that it remains a pillar of justice for all.


José Miguel Madrigal

Chair, Global Youth Caucus

Written with GYC member Mohamed Ahmed of DA Kenya

In 2023, there are elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia & Wisconsin. Americans overseas request your absentee ballot today at votefromabroad.org. Every vote counts.

Note: If you are interested in reforming the Supreme Court, the Global Youth Caucus recommends reading two fascinating literary selections about this topic. The first one, an academic article, is titled “How to Save the Supreme Court” by Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman, which would restore ideological balance to the court and expand it to 15 Justices. The second one, a book, “Reforming the Supreme Court: Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices” by professors Roger Cramton of Cornell Law School and Paul Carrington of Duke University, argues the case for an 18-year term limit for Justices, allowing every President to make up to four Supreme Court nominations.