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Biden v. Nebraska, 2023 U.S. LEXIS 2793 (S. Ct. June 30, 2023) (Roberts, C.J.) To ensure that Americans could keep up with increasing international competition, Congress authorized the first federal student loans in 1958—up to a total of $1,000 per student each year. National Defense Education Act of 1958, 72 Stat. 1584. Outstanding federal student loans now total $1.6 trillion extended to 43 million borrowers. Letter from Congressional Budget Office to Members of Congress, p. 3 (Sept. 26, 2022) (CBO Letter). Last year, the Secretary of Education established the first comprehensive student loan forgiveness program, invoking the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) for authority to do so. The Secretary’s plan canceled roughly $430 billion of federal student loan balances, completely erasing the debts of 20 million borrowers and lowering the median amount owed by the other 23 million from $29,400 to $13,600. See ibid.; App. 243. Six States sued, arguing that the HEROES Act does not authorize the loan cancellation plan. We agree. While the Act does give the Secretary of Education the right to modify provision of the statute, it does not permit a total rewrite. The Secretary may issue waivers or modifications only “as may be necessary to ensure” that “recipients of student financial assistance under Title IV of the Education Act who are affected individuals are not placed in a worse position financially in relation to that financial assistance because of their status as affected individuals.” On March 13, 2020, the President declared the pandemic a national emergency and the Secretary of Education then suspended loan repayments and interest accrual for all federally held student loans. The suspensions were broadened with the passage of time. That cancellation program was based upon income. The Department of Education estimated 43 million borrowers qualified for relief and the congressional budget office estimated the plan would cancel about $430 billion in debt principal. Six states moved for preliminary injunction. The court found that the states had standing. The Secretary’s plan harms Missouri’s performance of its public function and directly harms the state that created and controls a state agency administering educational opportunities. Missouri has thus suffered an injury in fact. In terms of the forgiveness program itself, the legislation on the federal level simply does not give the Secretary the authority to rewrite legislation to her satisfaction.