Amici Curiae to Nation’s Highest Court: Student Debt Relief is Lawful and Urgently Needed to Address the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
January 11, 2023 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, an historic coalition of cities, states, experts, and advocates filed more than a dozen amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Biden Administration’s student debt relief program.
Leaders and public officials join law scholars, economists, sociologists, higher education and public policy experts from across the political and ideological spectrum in briefing the high court. The briefs represent the breadth of communities that stand to benefit from student debt relief, including working people, borrowers of color, veterans, older people, people of faith, along with cities and states across the country. Together, these briefs showcase the broad support, strong legal foundation, and urgent economic necessity underpinning President Biden’s effort to cancel student debt for 40 million Americans.
Amici Curiae Quote Sheet is available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Student-Debt-Relief-Amici-Curiae-Quote-Sheet-2.pdf
A recording of the full event is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmSsiFHH8VY
Amici Curiae Summaries and Highlights are available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Student-Debt-Relief-Amici-Curiae-Summaries-and-Highlights-1.pdf
The amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the U.S. Department of Justice in Biden v. Nebraska and Biden v. Brown include:
- A brief by more than 70 legal services and borrower advocacy organizations from across the country, filed by the Student Borrower Protection Center, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_22-535_Legal-Aid-Borrower-Advocacy_SBPC_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by the Cities of St. Louis, Kansas City, Little Rock, and more than 3 dozen other local governments across the country, filed by Public Rights Project, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Biden-v.-Nebraska-Local-Govt-Amicus-Brief-01.11.23-final.pdf
- A brief by ArchCity Defenders and other Missouri consumer advocates, filed by the UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice, offering new evidence that the state-backed student loan company Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA), which is not a party to this case, cannot give standing to the states challenging debt relief in Biden v. Nebraska. This brief is available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_Biden-v-NE_ArchCity-Defenders-and-LSEM_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and 21 advocacy organizations, filed with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_22-535_Lawyers-Committee-For-Civil-Rights-Under-Law_21-Advocacy-Organizations_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by two dozen law scholars, led by UC Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Student Loan Law Initiative founders Prof. Dalié Jiménez and Prof. Jonathan Glater, and Prof. Peter Shane at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, filed by Democracy Forward, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/20230111141538206_Brief-of-Amici-Curiae-Legal-Scholars-in-Support-of-Petitioners.pdf
- A brief by conservative law scholars Prof. Samuel Bray at Notre Dame Law School and Prof. William Baude at University of Chicago Law School, filed by Latham & Watkins, urging the Supreme Court to reject legal challenges to debt relief because the plaintiffs in Brown and the states in Nebraska both lack standing, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_22-535_Conservative-Law-Scholars_Latham-Watkins_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, and AAUP filed by Selendy and Gay, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506-22-535-tsac-American-Federation-of-Teachers-Et-Al..pdf
- A brief by the National Education Association, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/20230111134759981_Biden-v-Nebraska-22-506-NEA-Amicus-Brief.pdf
- A brief by 25 economists, sociologists, public policy and higher education scholars, filed by HWG Law, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_Economists_HWG-LLP_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by Congressman George Miller, author of the HEROES Act of 2003 and former Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, filed by the Constitutional Accountability Center, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_22-535_Biden-v-NE_Former-Representative-George-Miller_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by NAACP, filed by Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe, LLP, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_22-535_Biden-v-NE_NAACP_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by Minority Veterans Association and five other veterans service organizations, filed by Skadden Arps, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/22-506_22-535_Six-Veterans-Organizations_AMICI-CURIAE.pdf
- A brief by 22 State Attorneys General, led by the Massachusetts Attorney General, available here: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/20230111134618507_Brief-of-Massachusetts-et-al.-in-Nos.-22-506-and-22-535.pdf
Since President Biden first announced his intention to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for the vast majority of borrowers, opponents of student debt relief have filed legal challenges seeking to halt this effort. In December, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two of these challenges– Nebraska v. Biden (recaptioned Biden v. Nebraska at the Supreme Court), brought by Republican officials in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Iowa, and Brown v. Biden (recaptioned Biden v. Brown at the Supreme Court), a challenge brought by student loan borrowers in Texas and funded by a right-wing dark-money group.
This week’s briefs support the Justice Department’s effort to defend this policy before the nation’s highest court. To date, more than 26 million Americans have applied for student debt relief and more than 40 million Americans are expected to benefit when this program is fully implemented.
- Student Borrower Protection Center: Jackie Filson, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Democracy Forward: Feldman Strategies, email@example.com
- American Federation of Teachers: Andrew Crook, firstname.lastname@example.org
- UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice: David Nahmias, email@example.com
- Constitutional Accountability Center: Praveen Fernandes, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Public Rights Project: Madison Jacobs, email@example.com
- Minority Veterans of America, Peter Perkowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
- HWG LLP: Christopher J. Wright, email@example.com
- Office of Mayor Frank Scott Jr., City of Little Rock: Aaron Sadler, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: Press@lawyerscommittee.org
- NAACP, Jonah Bryson, email@example.com
About Student Borrower Protection Center
The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) is a nonprofit organization focused on eliminating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. We engage in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance racial and economic justice for all.
Learn more at protectborrowers.org or follow SBPC on Twitter @theSBPC.