The court said in an unsigned opinion that the CDC, which reinstated the ban earlier this month, lacked the authority to do so under federal law. They argue congressional approval is required to enact such a ban, and that the federal government grossly overstepped their authority.
“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” the court wrote.
Of the dissenters on the bench, it was the three liberal justices who argued in favor of the ban. They claim, according to Justice Stephen Breyer, the rising case of so-called Delta variant cases of COVID-19 is the main driver for the court to uphold the eviction moratorium.
“The public interest strongly favors respecting the CDC’s judgment at this moment, when over 90% of counties are experiencing high transmission rates,” Breyer wrote.
Since when was it the job of the Supreme Court to rule in favor of “public interest” and not the rule of law?
It was the second loss for the administration this week at the hands of the high court’s conservative majority. On Tuesday, the court denied Biden’s request to allow a lower court ruling on Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy to be upheld. The ruling effectively reinstated the policy, and border officials have been ordered to proceed.
On evictions, President Joe Biden acknowledged the legal trouble the new moratorium would likely cause. But Biden said that even with doubts about what courts would do, it was worth a try because it would buy at least a few weeks of time for the distribution of more of the $46.5 billion in rental assistance Congress had approved.
The administration has demanded state and local officials move more aggressively to distribute federal funds to landlords and tenants. They’ve also discouraged local eviction filings despite landlords missing out on that much-needed income.
Liberal states, including California, Maryland and New Jersey, have put in place their own temporary bans on evictions. In a separate order earlier this month, the high court ended some protections for New York residents who had fallen behind on their rents during the pandemic.
The administration at first allowed the earlier moratorium to lapse July 31, saying it had no legal authority to allow it to continue. But the CDC issued a new moratorium days later as pressure mounted from lawmakers and others to help vulnerable renters stay in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant surged. The moratorium had been scheduled to expire Oct. 3.
Landlords in Alabama and Georgia who challenged the earlier evictions ban quickly returned to court, where they received a sympathetic hearing. U.S. Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, said the new moratorium was beyond the CDC’s authority.
The earlier versions of the moratorium, first ordered during Trump’s presidency, applied nationwide and were put in place out of fear that people who couldn’t pay their rent would end up in crowded living conditions like homeless shelters and help spread the virus.
Meanwhile, the rapid “delta variant” spread has caused a renewed sense of panic and hysteria amongst progressive politicians, many of whom are seeking to spend more federal taxpayer to enable another lockdown in the midst of rising inflation.
Author: Sebastian Hayworth