US Lawmakers Bitterly Divided Over Supreme Court's 2 Major Rulings

 Authored by Ross Muscato via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The conservative majority U.S. Supreme Court has been busy in the final days before its summer break, and the decisions it handed down this week have heartened and made Congressional Republicans mostly happy and left their colleagues on the other side of the aisle mostly unhappy and in many cases angry.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on June 7, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Following the court’s historic decisions on June 29, upending a half-century in which it was legal for colleges and universities to factor in race when making admissions decisions, the court issued findings the following day on two cases, both of which have fervent cultural and political constituencies at odds with and divided against each other. 

Both the rulings issued on June 30 were along strict ideological lines, with each a 6-3 tally.  

Conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas formed the majority; Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor constituted the minority. 

The court struck down President Joe Biden’s program, which he announced last August, and which had been stalled by challenges in lower courts, to forgive student loan debt.

It also ruled that a Colorado graphic designer, who is an evangelical Christian, could legally refuse to create a website for a same-sex wedding.

No Loan Relief

If the Biden loan-relief proposal had become law, an individual borrower making $125,000 annually or less was eligible for up to $10,000 of the debt cancelled; but individual borrowers who made up to $125,000 a year or less and who also took out a Pell Grant could have seen $20,000 in relief. Families could qualify for debt forgiveness if they made $250,000 a year or less. 

As many as 40 million borrowers could have found relief under the plan, with the cost to taxpayers figured at about $400 billion.

President Biden’s student loan giveaway is ruled UNLAWFUL. The 87% of Americans without student loans are no longer forced to pay for the 13% who do,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted.  “This builds on the Fiscal Responsibility Act’s end to the payment pause. The President must follow the law.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to the press at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 28, 2023. (Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who caucuses with the Democrats, didn’t like the Supreme Court decision, but she also doesn’t think the fight is over on the issue, and the Biden administration has other options to cancel student debt. 

AOC tweeted: “It is very important to note this SCOTUS ruling does NOT remove Biden’s ability to pursue student loan forgiveness. The Biden Admin can use the HEA (Higher Ed Act) – our position from the start – to continue loan forgiveness before payments resume. They should do so ASAP.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks to reporters after attending a House Democrat caucus meeting with White House debt negotiators at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 31, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky found favor with the ruling.

“The President of the United States cannot hijack twenty-year-old emergency powers to pad the pockets of his high-earning base and make suckers out of working families who choose not to take on student debt,” said McConnell in a release his office issued.  

“The Court’s decision today deals a heavy blow to Democrats’ distorted and outsized view of executive power.”

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