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Supreme Court halts CDC’s eviction moratorium

Supreme Court halts CDC’s eviction moratorium

“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 U.S. Supreme Court just issued an Opinion that halts the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium issued by the CDC.

A District Court had ruled the moratorium illegal, but stayed its decision pending appeal. In a prior visit to SCOTUS, the stay was left in place because the moratorium was about to expire anyway, but a majority made clear that the moratorium was illegal. But after the moratorium expired, it was quickly reimposed in a slightly modified format, basically thumbing their noses at SCOTUS.

The case came back to SCOTUS, and this time the majority of Justices, with the usual suspects dissenting, ruled that the CDC exceeded its authority.

From the Per Curiam Opinion:

The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions of any tenants who live in a county that is experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID–19 transmission and who make certain declarations of financial need. 86 Fed. Reg. 43244 (2021). The Alabama Association of Realtors (along with other plaintiffs) obtained a judgment from the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacating the moratorium on the ground that it is unlawful. But the District Court stayed its judgment while the Government pursued an appeal. We vacate that stay, rendering the judgment enforceable. The District Court produced a comprehensive opinion concluding that the statute on which the CDC relies does not grant it the authority it claims. The case has been thoroughly briefed before us—twice. And careful review of that record makes clear that the applicants are virtually certain to succeed on the merits of their argument that the CDC has exceeded its authority. It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened. 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.

* * *

If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it. The application to vacate stay presented to THE CHIEF JUSTICE and by him referred to the Court is granted.

Breyer penned a dissent, joined by Sotomayor and Kagan:

Applicants raise contested legal questions about an important federal statute on which the lower courts are split and on which this Court has never actually spoken. These questions call for considered decisionmaking, informed by full briefing and argument. Their answers impact the health of millions. We should not set aside the CDC’s eviction moratorium in this summary proceeding. The criteria for granting the emergency application are not met. I respectfully dissent.


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“Chief Justice John Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it.”
— President Andrew Jackson

History will end up repeating itself.

    henrybowman in reply to Doc-Wahala. | August 27, 2021 at 3:11 am

    Yeah, I don’t think so. Millions of landlords will task thousands of local sheriffs with evicting their deadbeats. The sheriffs don’t have either Walensky or Biden in their food chain.

    Kevin in reply to Doc-Wahala. | August 27, 2021 at 8:41 am

    No, the states themselves will provide the enforcement actions. In the Democratic Republics of NY, California, Illinois, etc., the local authorities in sane cities will enforce this. The local and state agencies have no standing to stop those who would enforce this law. If someone were truly affected by this, I may have been sympathetic. But no person in America who has had COVID, as I have, can reasonably expect a 10 day illness to provide cover for not paying rent for 2 years. Chicken Leg AOC and the Bush idiot danced a bit prematurely here. The justices dissenting from this ruling have shown once again that they aren’t interested in enforcing the law, but wish to legislate from the bench.

      Doc-Wahala in reply to Kevin. | August 27, 2021 at 10:34 am

      I think you’re right. Same time I won’t be holding my breath to hear WH say “no-can do, SC won’t let us”. Fully expect them to be creative in their next attempt.

Finally. It’s about time we saw at least a little bit of respect for contract law and property rights in this country.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Ironclaw. | August 27, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Now, let’s address this private businesses on private property bring “public accommodation “. Yes. I’m serious.

madisonian_123 | August 26, 2021 at 10:06 pm

I’m no Supreme Court Justice, but the liberal wing laid out a particularly specious argument, claiming that the CDC’s order is “substantially more tailored” and then go on to point out that it would apply to 90% of counties today.

The Court appears to have framed this as a takings case under the 5th and 14th Amendments, rather than as a violation of the contract clause, which it most directly is.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to maxmillion. | August 27, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I believe it is both.

    johnny dollar in reply to maxmillion. | August 27, 2021 at 9:27 am

    My understanding of the contracts clause (Article 1, section 10) is that it is only a restriction on the States, not the Federal Government. Since many states have enacted similar eviction moratoriums, such as my state Calizuela, that may be a moot point.
    I don’t really see much reference in the opinion to the 5th or 14th Amendments, even though I agree that these moratoria are illegal takings from property owners.
    It looks to me as if the entire opinion concerns itself with the lack of authority of the CDC to enact such a moratorium, in the absence of specific enabling legislation.

“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”

Where in the Constitution does Congress have the power to prevent people from collecting what is owed them? Even when it’s right this court manages to be wrong.

    fscarn in reply to irv. | August 26, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    If the document were obeyed to the words stated in the Constitution, fedgov would be one-tenth of its present size.

      “Where in the Constitution does Congress have the power to prevent people from collecting what is owed them?”

      Right next to the paragraph that says its OK to kill unborn babies.

    Fat_Freddys_Cat in reply to irv. | August 27, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    I imagine they’ll pull out an old favorite, the Super Elastic Covers All interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause. It’s bogus but they usually get away with it.

What a surprise — the three dim-witted, card-carrying Dhimmi-crat activists, masquerading and play-acting as “Justices,” are on the side of limitless and legally unsupported State authority, as per usual. The only “jurisprudence” that these execrable fools adhere to is promoting rank despotism.

Subotai Bahadur | August 26, 2021 at 10:50 pm

Having defied a Supreme Court ruling of 5-4 successfully with no consequences, what is there in another Supreme Court ruling of 6-3 that will induce the regime to obey it. this time? Seriously.

Subotai Bahadur

    I mean Kavanaugh is a coward, but the whole reason that this bullshit continued is that because of him, they DID NOT RULE, they just punted the issue because it was due to expire anyway, and Kavanaugh the Coward issued a legally meaningless statement that he would probably strike it down if it came back in front of them. And s anybody with two brain cells to rub together could have predicted, the Democrat jackasses immediately extended the order – in the meantime causing even more damage to landlords.

      txvet2 in reply to Olinser. | August 27, 2021 at 2:33 am

      I pointed out a while back that Roberts wasn’t going to be the only problem on this court. It was always going to be Kavanaugh.

        guyjones in reply to txvet2. | August 28, 2021 at 10:13 pm

        Don’t omit mention of Gorsuch, who indefensibly and inexplicably extended Title VII to cover homosexuals and trannies, even though the statute doesn’t mention them, and, the legislators who enacted the statute never contemplated these groups.

        This was an utterly irrational opinion of such brazen and contemptible contrivance and narcissism, boasting non-existent legal supports, that Gorsuch can never redeem himself for proffering it.

    They didn’t defy a 5-4 ruling. The 5-4 ruling revealed the justices’ opinion that the moratorium was illegal, but it didn’t actually say so as a matter of law, so that part wasn’t technically binding on the government. Technically it was dicta. This time the court has said it officially, and sealed it with red wax and affixed a ribbon to it, so it’s binding.

Congratulations on doing what you should have done A YEAR AGO. This bullshit should have been struck down the instant it started.

There is NOTHING that allows the government to arbitrarily decide that you aren’t allowed to evict somebody who absolutely has the ability to pay and is refusing to do so.

Now if they passed a program where the government would pay rent FOR them, that would be still stupid, but at least justifiable.

But this bullshit of ‘oh you just can’t evict them’ is utterly insane.

    redc1c4 in reply to Olinser. | August 27, 2021 at 2:18 am

    it doesn’t really matter any more though… we are no longer a nation of laws.

    on the upside, the civil war looks like it will be very “sporty”.

      Dathurtz in reply to redc1c4. | August 27, 2021 at 6:33 am

      But…but…the SCOTUS just gave us TWO rulings in our favor!

      Those crazy American Taliban heathens’ fears are clearly unjustified.

    mrtomsr in reply to Olinser. | August 27, 2021 at 10:51 am

    No more insane that deciding which business is not essential and therefore cannot open. To me, that was and is “a taking” and the government bodies that did that should have to pay the businesses exactly the cost of that ruling.

Millhouse – serious question. In your opinion, was this illegal act a constitutional violation and therefore is the federal government potentially on the hook for damages and lawyers’ fees? I’m wondering since I find nothing in the order references the constitution in their rationale, contrary to some reports. That makes me think the court basically said, “Cut that out” and landlords have no financial recourse in the matter in terms of the lawsuit except that the eviction moratorium is ended.

    r2468 in reply to Fluffy12. | August 27, 2021 at 1:07 am

    Could there be a lawsuit against the CDC to compensate for lost rent?

    Milhouse in reply to Fluffy12. | August 27, 2021 at 3:04 am

    That’s a good question. I think you’re probably right that there is no recourse for past losses, and they could only sue if the government were to continue to do this even after it’s been officially told it can’t.

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Milhouse. | August 27, 2021 at 8:36 am

      It was an eviction moratorium, not a rent cancellation. I would think landlords should be able to sue tenants for rent due but not paid. State and local laws vary and some are so absurd I wonder why there are residential landlords in these jurisdictions at all. Also, the squeezing blood from a stone rule applies here as well. In many cases a landlord would need to attached to future wages and income, I suppose.

      What bothered me was the statement that if only congress had passed an explicit law. I cannot see how congress could pass such a law without compensation to the Landlords, at least for it to pass muster.

We are seeing who the Marxists are

A positive decision. Six members told the CDC in this instance that they must have some basis in the statute which grants authority for their action. Hopefully this will be a sign of things to come. That the era of agencies acting without any authority is ending. Perhaps it will also extend to extremely close scrutiny of actions which only arguably are within the bounds of the statute.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to CommoChief. | August 27, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Well, maybe, but this was an extremely obvious and egregious case that hurt people with political clout. But you tend to be a glass-half full sort of guy.

      CommoChief in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | August 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

      Very true. If the CT moves in the direction I would hope for it will be incremental and at maddeningly frustratingly slow pace; if at all.

      Glass half full? Yeah. There’s almost always a silver lining in any cloud and it pays off to search, find and make use of them instead of moaning about what we can’t control. It’s a sort of a realistic cynicism that allows my to put things in perspective and move on advancing the ball in areas I control while not not obsessing about the things I don’t control.

      Admittedly it took me until my mid forties to adopt that mindset. Plus a few years of therapy for PTSD. IMO, I am far better off for doing so. Much more relaxed and confident and able to seize the opportunities that others overlook while they cry in their beer so to speak.

      An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist says the glass is half empty. And an engineer says the glass is too big.

        Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Milhouse. | August 27, 2021 at 1:49 pm

        I am also a glass half-full sort of guy – half-full of piss.

        I trust God and just about anything designed by John Browning. Other than that….

    Evil Overlord Rule #12 One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

    “So what law passed by Congress and signed by the President allows the CDC to do this?”


      CommoChief in reply to georgfelis. | August 27, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      If you insert a blank in place of CDC and go through the entirety of the executive branch asking the question….. that kid is going to be busy.

” . . .It [the left] strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.” This is the essence of the leftist regarding law and power.

2smartforlibs | August 27, 2021 at 10:15 am

Seems we still do have some property rights in this country. That’s got to be a hard pill for the DNC.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | August 27, 2021 at 10:25 am

Like a broken clock, the sanctimonious solons of stupidity are correct twice a day. However, for the remaining 23 hours and 58 minutes of each day, we are blessed with their fuckery.

The last bastion of reason in our trifecta of government overlords is now infected by these black robed over educated dimwits.

Chief Justice Roberts, thank you for showing you may think the Constitution restricts the powers of the government.

Where was this insight during the Obamacare ruling?

Hey, things are looking up. It’s nice to finally see a lineup of the SCOTUS which doesn’t have RGB glowering at us, like a nasty worm peering around the edge of an otherwise reasonably good apple.