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Supreme Court agrees to hear student debt forgiveness case

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Six Republican-led states which are challenging the Biden admministration’s student loan forgiveness program will be heading to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this month a federal appeals court in St. Louis sided with Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina, and issued an injunction blocking the plan to provide up to $20,000 in student-loan relief money to millions of individuals.

The Biden administration subsequently asked the Supreme Court to intervene. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunction.

“The Eighth Circuit’s erroneous injunction leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, uncertain about the size of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations,” Prelogar, told the Supreme Court in a filing.

Prelogar told the court that if it denied relief, it should agree to consider the merits of the case instead.

CBS News reports:

The court said in a brief order that it will hear arguments in February, but will keep the program on hold for now. Last week, President Biden extended his pause on federal student loan payments until June 30, 2023, to give the court time to consider the dispute.

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case on our student debt relief plan for middle and working class borrowers this February,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “This program is necessary to help over 40 million eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic and move forward with their lives. The program is also legal, supported by careful analysis from administration lawyers.”

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education

Biden’s new Title IX rules: adds ‘Gender Identity’ as protected class

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The Biden administration released a draft proposal Friday which would amend the famous Title IX. The revision “does not specifically mention trans athletes, it does add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes” reports National Review. 

Additionally, the proposal included a radical revision that would have “forced federally funded educational institutions to allow men to compete on their women’s sports teams unless they demonstrate it compromises student safety. Under that rule, the burden of proof would have been shifted to schools, which in effect would have to create separate policies for every sport.”

“I never thought I’d see the day where Title IX would be used to harm women, but sadly, that day has come,” Former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement to National Review. “The Biden Administration’s radical rewrite of Title IX guts the half century of protections and opportunities for women and callously replaces them with radical gender theory, as Biden’s far-left political base demanded. This regulation is an assault on women and girls.”

National Review explains:

Friday’s announcement does, however, reverse Trump-era sexual assault rules, rolling back some due-process protections for accused students and lowering the standard for finding a student guilty of sexual misconduct.

The rule prohibits “all forms of sex-based harassment, including sexual violence and unwelcome sex-based conduct that creates a hostile environment by limiting or denying a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a school’s education program or activity.”

With the new rule, investigators involved in campus cases now have the option to hold a hearing of both parties, as was required under the Trump-era policy, or hold individual meetings where a party or witness will be asked questions offered by the other party.

The timeline for the new Title IX release had been delayed multiple times. First expected in May 2023, the release was postponed to October then again to March 2024. The Education Department received over 230,000 comments during the draft period.

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