US Debt Cancellation – What Just Happened? HESA

On the potential political impacts of higher education debt cancellation in the US, including cancellation as “reparations to a generation which seems to have had an unnecessarily tough time due in part to bad policy-making”.

That’s interesting, but even more striking to me (in my particular niche) was that Usher links to a publicly shared legal opinion on the US Secretary of Education’s authority to cancel student debt. It’s exceedingly rare to see a legal opinion published in connection to a Canadian government policy (nor can you usually request them without receiving a wall of black redactions in response, due to the protections of solicitor client privilege). This is apparently unusual in the American context, too, as the opinion itself states:

Given the significant public interest in this issue, and the potential for public confusion caused by the public availability of the January 2021 memorandum, I recommend making this memorandum publicly available …

We do have Charter Statements, which are sort of legal opinions, so there’s that for the legislative function, at least. I can’t think of a parallel in the Canadian executive function—maybe it’s happened, similarly, on an ad hoc basis; would be interesting to dig into.

7:33 pm on August 30, 2022