Joe Biden's Miserable Record Doesn't Bode Well for Student Loan Forgiveness

The Biden administration's undistinguished track record at the U.S. Supreme Court could be a bad sign for its chances of success as the nine justices hear oral arguments challenging President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness program.

The Court will hear arguments in Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown on Tuesday in cases that could see the justices strike down the debt cancellation plan.

The president's plan promises to cancel $10,000 in federal student debt for those with incomes of less than $125,000, or households earning less than $250,000, while Pell Grant recipients, who typically have greater financial need, are eligible for an additional $10,000 in relief. Challengers to the program will ask the court to review whether the Biden administration has overstepped its authority.

The Biden administration has suffered a string of recent high-profile defeats at the Supreme Court on issues ranging from environmental policy to immigration and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Joe Biden Student Debt
U.S. President Joe Biden pictured in the East Room of the White House on January, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court has handed the administration several high profile defeats. Alex Wong/Getty

The Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority and during the 2021/2022 term, the justices handed down a number of rulings that the Biden administration did not want to see—most notably the overturning of the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued before the Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization alongside attorneys for the clinic during oral arguments.

The Court's conservative majority ultimately overturned Roe, with the Biden administration expressing anger and disappointment at the decision.

The Office of U.S. Solicitor General, which pleads before the Court on behalf of the federal government, enjoyed a relatively impressive win rate during the last term, according to analysis from, but lost several of the most high-profile cases.

In the cases where the government was a party, the solicitor general's office had a win rate of 58 percent, while in cases where the government acted as an amicus, the win rate was 76 percent.

The government can act as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in cases where it is not party by submitting what is known as an amicus brief.

However, the Court's conservative majority handed the Biden administration notable defeats in the last term, ruling against the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and curtailing the agency's ability to regulate the energy sector in a move that may have a major effect on environmental policy.

The Court's conservatives also ruled that a Biden administration vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers was unlawful and found strict gun laws in New York to be unconstitutional in what was seen as a blow to the administration's approach to gun control.

In December, the Court handed the Biden administration its first major defeat of the 2022/23 term when the justices ruled 5-4 to allow the Title 42 immigration policy to remain in place, pending the Court's review of a case being brought by Republican officials in 19 states.

The decision means that Biden administration will not be able to prevent expulsions under Title 42, a Trump-era policy, until the matter is resolved.

"The current Supreme Court is one of the most conservative courts in American history," Paul Collins, a legal studies and political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told Newsweek.

"This is especially true in high profile cases, like the student loan forgiveness case, where the Court overwhelmingly hands down conservative decisions," he said.

"I expect the Court will halt the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan down ideological lines, which will be a major blow to student loan borrowers trying to get out under mountains of debt," Collins added.

It's not possible to predict when the court might issue its rulings, though the administration may have to wait until the end of the court's term in June for the final opinions.

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.