Yesterday, Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) joined the Student Borrower Protection Center, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and more than 70 other legal services and borrower advocacy organizations in filing an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Biden Administration’s student loan debt relief program. The Biden program provides up to $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 to other borrowers, with eligibility based on income.
The Biden Administration’s debt relief program offers critical assistance to the clients we serve at CLASI. Our clients include the low and middle-income working families, borrowers of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and seniors who bore the economic brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are still struggling financially while facing high student debt burdens.
“Our clients are doing their best to make ends meet, but many lost their jobs and faced serious financial hardship during the pandemic and are still trying to dig out,” says CLASI Advocacy Director John Whitelaw. “Without student debt relief, we know it’s going to be hard for many of them to meet their basic needs when loan repayments resume.”
A historic coalition of cities, states, legal scholars, economists, sociologists, and higher education and public policy experts from across the political and ideological spectrum joined in filing over a dozen amicus briefs with the Supreme Court yesterday. The briefs argue that the student debt relief program is legally sound and urgently needed to address the economic harm caused by decades of systemic failures in the student loan system and compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As outlined in yesterday’s press release from the Student Borrower Protection Center, the legal services and advocacy organizations’ brief to the court “centers the real life stories of those crushed by the weight of student debt, highlights the financial devastation caused by the pandemic which has exacerbated challenges for student loan borrowers, and underscores the impact that the student debt cancellation program will yield. The brief argues notably that as the Federal government has provided direct financial support to families, small businesses, and large industries alike– President Biden’s cancellation program is legal and narrowly designed to mitigate further economic harm.”
Read the full press release here.
A copy of the amicus brief is available here.