If you're living in Montana and you owe money in student loans and were banking on the Student Loan Forgiveness Program that President Biden presented, this probably isn't your day.

The United States Supreme Court has been busy this week handing down rulings, including decisions that could also affect the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a decision regarding affirmative action in college admissions.  I think it's safe to say that in the current political environment, we can expect lots of uproar shortly across the nation.

So what does all this mean for those of us living in Montana?

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Well, that depends on who you ask.  For many Montanans, this has been a great week, for others, they will see this as a major setback regarding equal rights in the United States of America.

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Let's talk about the decision that affects the most Montanans. The Student Loan Forgiveness Program.  The current President campaigned on the fact that those with 10 thousand dollars or less of student debt would be forgiven if he was elected. Throw in the pandemic and the President's plan, most of us haven't been paying student loans for 3 years or so, which I'm guessing no matter your political leanings, the idea of not having to pay off that debt probably wasn't the worst idea you've heard.

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Now that the Supreme Court has struck the decision down saying the President went above and beyond his powers, that means you can expect to start making student loan payments again.  In fact, it looks like payments could start as early as this Fall.

Next up, the ruling regarding businesses and what they can and can't do regarding the LBGTQ+ community will no doubt affect folks in Montana.  Of course, Montana has been in the spotlight recently regarding LBGTQ+ issues after the Montana State Legislature made global headlines after they voted to censor Montana State Rep Zooey Zephyr.

Many fear that the ruling just made by the US Supreme Court means that folks in the LBGTQ+ community can now be discriminated against when it comes to goods and services provided by businesses. While there are plenty of Montana businesses that are very friendly to LBGTQ+ folks.  The Court ruled on a case from Colorado involving a case of a web designer that refused to do a site for a same-sex marriage, which was against Colorado law.  However, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the web designer and now many fear what may come from that.

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Finally, Affirmative Action regarding higher learning. The Court ruled on two cases, one from the University of North Carolina and the other from Harvard.  According to NBC News, "The court ruled that both programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and are therefore unlawful"

So what does this mean?  Well, according to legal experts, it means that Colleges and Universities in Montana and across the nation can no longer consider race when it comes to admissions. Opponents of the ruling claim this will hurt minorities' chances to get into school, while those for the ruling say that race shouldn't be a factor during the admission process.

The US Supreme Court ruled along political affiliations in all three cases.

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