Can The President Cancel Student Debt?

(Source) Student loan forgiveness has been a popular topic in the news lately.  This should not come as a surprise considering there are over 43 million student borrowers in the United States, each with an average debt size of $39,351. As the current total student loan debt in the United States tops $1.7 trillion, President Biden has called for cancelling $10,000 federal student loan debt for every borrower. In fact, in April 2021, President Biden even tasked the Departments of Education and Justice with drafting a memo on whether he has the legal authority to cancel student debt. However, since this memo has not yet been released to the public, the answer remains unclear. This article will broadly explore arguments regarding the President’s legal authority to cancel federal student loan debt.  To start, the Biden administration has actually already cancelled nearly $10 billion in federal student loan debt as of late 2021. However, this relief was only available to borrowers with disabilities and to victims of college fraud. The legal basis for cancelling the federal student loan debt of borrowers with total and permanent disabilities is the Higher Education Act of 1965, while the Department of Education’s “Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment” regulation [read more]

Electoral College: Outdated, but Here to Stay

The recent election has brought the United States’ presidential voting system, the Electoral College, into the limelight. Through this system, each state is awarded a number of electoral votes based on its number of representatives in Congress. In all states except Maine and Nebraska, the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in that state is awarded all of the state’s electoral votes. A President then wins the election by receiving at least 270 electoral votes. This system of voting was originally adopted out of fear. The founding fathers were worried both about “tyranny of the majority” and that citizens could be manipulated by a powerful, persuasive individual in a direct democracy. They established the Electoral College to work as a check on the population, creating an additional body to oversee the vote of the President and ensure that the President was competent. In November’s election, Hilary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, outperformed Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, in the popular vote by almost 2.9 million people, earning 48.2% of the popular vote as opposed to Trump’s 46.1%. Yet Clinton failed to win the election, earning only 232 electoral votes, compared to Trump’s 306. On January 20, 2017, President Trump [read more]