Capitol Correspondence - 08.31.21

Supreme Court Ends CDC Moratorium on Evictions

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The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) order temporarily halting evictions for nonpayment of rent and similar housing-related payments in counties with heightened levels of community transmission of COVID-19.

The CDC’s two-month order was quickly challenged by the Alabama and Georgia chapters of the National Association of Realtors, arguing the CDC lacked legal authority to impose the ban. The U.S. Department of Justice argued any financial harm was “outweighed by the risk of illness and mortality if the moratorium targeting areas of high or substantial transmission is unnecessarily lifted at this moment when new cases are rapidly increasing due to the highly contagious Delta variant.” The challenge came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s previous ruling allowing the former eviction ban to continue through the end of July, with Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence noting he would block any additional extensions.

As anticipated given the prior ruling, the court ruled 6-3 to block the CDC’s newest order, with the majority opinion finding, “If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”