Says CDC Had No Authority To Issue Ban On Evictions
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday (Aug. 27) blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium, thereby opening the door for property owners to evict residents behind on rent amid the pandemic.
The ruling comes after the CDC on Aug. 3 issued a federal moratorium for 60 days, expiring on Oct. 3.
According to Census Bureau data from early August, about 3.5 million people in the country said they faced eviction in the next two months.
The CDC’s policy was challenged by a coalition of landlords and real estate groups in Alabama and Georgia. They argued that the CDC did not have the authority to implement the moratorium.
In an unsigned opinion (pdf) on Thursday, the court’s majority said that the CDC lacked the authority to issue the moratorium without authorization from Congress.
The court rejected arguments from the Biden administration supporting the CDC’s authority. The administration also justified holding back evictions in areas where transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, was high.
“It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened,” the court wrote. “Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.”
The court concluded that “If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”