AP report: Justice Clarence Thomas has history of ‘crushing’ student debt in his own life

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. 




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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