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U.S. Supreme Court ends CDC's pandemic residential eviction moratorium

EconomyAug 27, 2021 05:40AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2021. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo/File Photo

By Lawrence Hurley and Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ended the pandemic-related federal moratorium on residential evictions imposed by President Joe Biden's administration in a challenge to the policy brought by a coalition of landlords and real estate trade groups.

The justices, who in June had left in place https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-maintains-cdcs-pandemic-related-residential-eviction-ban-2021-06-29 a prior ban that expired at the end of July, granted a request by the challengers to lift the moratorium by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was to have run until Oct. 3.

The challengers argued that the law on which the CDC relied did not allow it to implement the current ban.

"It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts," the court said in an unsigned opinion.

"If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it," the court added.

The three liberal justices on the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, all dissented.

The White House said it was disappointed by the decision and urged states, local governments, landlords and Cabinet agencies to "urgently act" to help prevent evictions.

The high court had signaled in June that it thought the moratorium was on shaky legal ground, and that such a policy needed to be enacted by Congress rather than being imposed unilaterally by the executive branch.

The CDC first issued a moratorium in September 2020 after a prior one approved by Congress expired, with agency officials saying the policy was needed to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent homelessness during the pandemic.

Under political pressure from Biden's fellow Democrats, his administration on Aug. 3 implemented a somewhat narrower eviction moratorium three days after the prior one expired.

Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said in a dissenting opinion that the outcome of the case was not as clear cut as the majority suggested and that the court was not justified in ending the moratorium so quickly at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging.

"The public interest strongly favors respecting the CDC’s judgment at this moment, when over 90 percent of counties are experiencing high transmission rates," Breyer wrote.

Citing the CDC, he said that a surge of evictions could lead to more infections of the coronavirus.

The latest moratorium covered nearly 92% of U.S. counties - those deemed to have "substantial" and "high" levels of coronavirus transmission.

The policy was challenged in federal court by realtor associations in Alabama and Georgia as well as landlords in those two states.

U.S. Supreme Court ends CDC's pandemic residential eviction moratorium
 

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Comments (7)
Zach Lohman
Zach Lohman Aug 27, 2021 6:24AM ET
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Forcing landlords to house people that weren’t paying without immediate compensation was never right. Good move on the Supreme Court’s part.
Sean Carter
Sean Carter Aug 27, 2021 6:10AM ET
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I like the Supreme Court's logic. The CDC shouldn't have the authority that it's had for the past nearly 2 years.
Randall Paul
Randall Paul Aug 27, 2021 5:55AM ET
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administration? really. who pays the landlords taxes and mortgages fmwhat a crock of you know what. disgusting they even tried
Ferdinando Riboni
Ferdinando Riboni Aug 27, 2021 12:51AM ET
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Democrats don't care about your rights or about America and Biden is just a slow witted puppet
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Aug 26, 2021 9:46PM ET
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This is big
Corey DeLaplain
SniperSam Aug 26, 2021 9:41PM ET
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Marxists always go after your private property rights! Glad the Supreme frauds stood up to them, a rare case where they did the right thing!
Jose Sousa
Jose Sousa Aug 26, 2021 9:41PM ET
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Marxists, fascists etc are all faces from the same coin. Created by an elite that thinks are above the rest and have no respect for individual rights and individual freedoms. Criminals of the worst kind dressed in suits, and pampered by the media.
Rick Karstedt
Rick Karstedt Aug 26, 2021 9:39PM ET
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Great! Time to go to work, people!
 
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