In the wake of the Biden administration pulling a fast one and issuing a new eviction moratorium order, people are up in arms over his continuing of this anti-Constitutional action. If the CDC is allowed to basically step in and effectively take landlords’ property nationally on the basis of protecting against the virus, that’s bad enough but it’s also a slippery slope as to where that will lead us next, as I noted.
The landlords just filed an emergency petition against the Biden administration’s new order.
The landlords have already been up a creek without a paddle for more than a year.
Here’s just a little history as to how we got where we are now. In March 2020, Congress enacted a 120-day eviction moratorium applying to rental properties that had federal assistance as part of the CARES Act dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus. But after that, in September 2020, the CDC issued an order implementing a broader eviction moratorium that applied to all rental properties nationwide, arguing it was needed to stop the spread of the virus. It was supposed to expire in December 2020, but then Congress extended it to Jan. 31, 2021. Then the CDC extended it through March 31, then subsequently extended it again to June 30.
The case that the Supreme Court acted on in June involved an action filed by the Alabama Association of Realtors and its counterpart in Georgia. The District Court judge, Dabney Friedrich, ruled that the Public Health Service Act did not grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium. But the District Court kept the moratorium in place pending appeal. The Circuit Court upheld that stay and then the Realtors asked the Supreme Court to lift that stay in June. So the Supreme Court was only looking at the question of the stay, not making a ruling as to the actual merits of the case.
The concurrence from Justice Brett Kavanaugh has gotten a lot of attention because it gave an indication as to the thought of the court and where it might go. So in that sense, it was instructive and Joe Biden was spitting in the eye of that indication by enacting a new order. But it was a concurrence, not a majority ruling, nor was it on the merits, so it is not binding and has no force of law. But the reason it was bad on the part of Kavanaugh was that he held with the liberal majority to deny vacating the stay — meaning leaving the moratorium in place — rather than siding with the conservatives who would have granted the application, vacated the stay and effectively ended the moratorium. But Kavanaugh kept it in place, thinking it would end anyway at the end of July. He was giving an indication he wanted Congress to act. But then they didn’t act. Given the whole history of the extensions, this was a bad and unreasoned decision on his part and if he thought it was unconstitutional then he should have stopped it right there.
The CDC’s new order, implementing another moratorium until October 3, applied not to all renters like the old orders/extensions but to renters in the areas in which there was a substantial risk of COVID in the determination of the CDC. The reasoning was likely to see if they could skate by with an allegedly narrowed order.
In the petition the Alabama Realtors filed last night with the District Court, they argued that the new CDC order issued exceeds the agency’s authority as the Court previously ruled.
In their filing, they cite the Biden administration’s own words insisting that they didn’t have the legal authority to impose another moratorium. Biden’s top aide Gene Sperling said the day before the CDC order that they didn’t have the legal authority to do it, they insisted they needed Congress to pass legislation. The Realtors also cite Biden’s own words when he said just before the CDC issued the order that it was likely to be found unconstitutional, basically arguing that Biden put through this order even knowing it was unlawful.
Biden asked the CDC to consider a new extension of the eviction moratorium, but agency leaders have been unable to legally justify one, says American Rescue Plan aide Gene Sperling https://t.co/gmrHXRzmt2 pic.twitter.com/YKol1ahDur
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) August 2, 2021
Pres. Biden says he's not sure if the upcoming eviction moratorium decision from the CDC will hold constitutionally, but that he hopes it will "give some additional time" to give out rental assistance funds. pic.twitter.com/V78AOusRe5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 3, 2021
That should give the District Court a good indication that it’s the Biden team trying to do an end-run around them. The Biden team will try to argue it’s a new order and not an extension. But bottom line it’s still unconstitutional. So we’ll have to wait and see what the Court says. But meanwhile, once again, the Biden bunch is screwing around with property rights and leaving these poor folks in limbo.