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March 31, 2023
An Associated Press report this week revealed that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a personal history of what he described as the “crushing weight” of student debt, a fact that may come into play when he opines on President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan in the near future.
As the US Supreme Court gears up to hear several cases related to President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program in the coming months, Associated Press reported this week that Justice Clarence Thomas once struggled with student loan debt as a young adult. In the early 1970s, when Thomas’ ex-wife, Kathie Grace Ambush, was pregnant with the couple’s only child, Thomas entered into a tuition postponement program to pay off two years of his tuition at Yale.
“I didn’t know what else to do, so I signed on the dotted line, and spent the next two decades paying off the money I borrowed during my last two years at Yale,” he wrote in his 2007 memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son.” According to AP, Thomas declared $10,000 in student loan debt at the time he was first nominated for a federal judgeship in 1989.
Biden’s student loan program aims to eliminate up to $10,000 in student loan debt for qualified borrowers, and up to $20,000 for Pell grant recipients who qualify. Opponents of the measure have claimed it is presidential overreach, the argument at the heart of two cases on the docket for this week. One of the suits is being brought by six GOP-led states, and the other by , conservative advocacy group, the Job Creators Network Foundation.
Thomas is not widely expected to rule in favor of student debt forgiveness in spite of his personal history.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: DAVIS VANGUARD