The Supreme Court strikes down the Biden administration’s latest extension on Thursday. The Realtor Associations of Alabama and Texas that had their appeal struck down in the appeal court earlier in the week, won their case in the Supreme Court. The administration insisted it could not do anything to prevent this.
The Supreme Court was actually ruling the previous extension before the latest was not constitutional. So the double secret extended moratorium extension has no legal legs to stand on as we mostly knew by now, and the Supreme Court has stepped in to put the long overdue moratorium out of it’s misery.
“Congress was on notice that a further extension would almost surely require new legislation, yet it failed to act in the several weeks leading up to the moratorium’s expiration,”– Supreme Court
“Congress was on notice that a further extension would almost surely require new legislation, yet it failed to act in the several weeks leading up to the moratorium’s expiration,” the justices wrote in an unusually long eight page opinion, typically emergency relief application have short opinions.
The opinion of the 5 justices in the majority pointed out the CDC had overstepped its authority trying to use obscure old statute that does not grant it the sweeping authority it has asserted, the Public Health Service Act of 1944.
The Public Health Service Act of 1944 does not allow the banning of evictions and foreclosures at all. Instead, it provides that the CDC director may “make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases.” And, in carrying out such regulations, the director “may provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.”
The Treasury Department revealed just a fraction of the $46.5 billion approved by Congress to stave off evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic has made its way to renters.
Now that the CDC moratorium is lifted, landlords seeking relief will still need to negotiate the patchwork of state and municipal moratoriums.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is quoted saying the Biden administration is “disappointed” in the Supreme Court’s ruling, and is “pressing” state and local authorities, federal agencies and individual landlords to “urgently act to prevent evictions.”
It’s important to note, the Treasury Department revealed just a fraction of the $46.5 billion approved by Congress to stave off evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic has made its way to renters.