Putting over 3.5 million people at risk of being evicted amidst a still ongoing pandemic, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s temporary ban on evictions and announced the action on Thursday night.
The Court stated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reimposed the moratorium Aug. 3, lacked the authority to do so under federal law without explicit congressional authorization. The justices rejected the administration’s arguments in support of the CDC’s authority. “If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” the court wrote.
As it stands, a handful of 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.
All three liberal judges opposed the decision with Justice Stephen Breyer writing, “The public interest strongly favors respecting the CDC’s judgment at this moment when over 90% of counties are experiencing high transmission rates.”
But alas, owing to the conservative majority of the Supreme Court, the administration had to face the second setback in a week, with the first being the reinstatement of a Trump-era policy forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their hearings.