The Supreme Court is expected to announce its rulings on student loan forgiveness and LGBTQ protections on Friday, which are the final cases before the Court begins its summer recess.
In a recent ruling, the conservative-majority court declared race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina as unlawful racial discrimination. This decision has significant implications for affirmative action programs at public and private institutions nationwide.
Chief Justice John Roberts announced that Friday will be the last day for the court to issue opinions in this term’s argued cases. The court will announce rulings on two cases related to President Joe Biden’s proposal to forgive over $400 million in student loans, a policy that would alleviate the debt burden of more than 40 million Americans.
The first case, Biden v. Nebraska, involves a challenge by six Republican state attorneys general who argue that the loan forgiveness policy violates the separation of powers and the Administrative Procedure Act. The second case, Department of Education v. Brown, features two student loan borrowers who do not qualify for relief and are suing to invalidate the program. Both cases raise questions about Biden’s reliance on the post-9/11 HEROES Act as justification for the program, with opponents claiming he exceeded his authority.
Another pending case is 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, where a Colorado web designer argues that she has a First Amendment right to refuse to design websites for same-sex weddings, despite a Colorado anti-discrimination law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ individuals.
This case resembles the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court ruled that a Colorado baker had the right to refuse to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. However, the 2018 decision did not have a broad impact on the Colorado anti-discrimination law or clarify when businesses are entitled to an exemption from the law based on First Amendment protection of freedom of speech. The 303 Creative decision is expected to address these broader issues.