Last week, at the behest of Congressional Democrats and the Biden Bunch, the CDC reinstated the eviction moratorium that had expired on July 31. The ostensible purpose behind the eviction is to prevent people, presumably healthy and “sheltering in place” or bedridden with the Wuhan virus, from being cast onto the streets into the pandemic hellscape.
This moratorium has a history stretching back to a law passed during the last months of the Trump administration. This law, arguably constitutional if examined under really dim light, lapsed. Without using the Administrative Procedures Act and the rulemaking process, the CDC simply created its own rule out of thin air. The rule was challenged and upheld upon appeal to the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote. Justice Kavanaugh voted with the commies on the Court to sustain the regulation because he assumed it would end on July 31 and time was needed to wind down the program.
This purpose is bogus. There is no evidence that eviction causes increased cases of the Wuhan virus. If the concern was for people who are sick, such a regulation could be narrowly tailored. The obvious reason for this action is that it provides another pressure point on the US Constitution and on our federalist system of government. See:
My colleague, Leslie McAdoo Gordon, has a detailed breakdown of the moratorium and the issues at The Renewed CDC Eviction Moratorium Is an Unlawful Powerplay and Fundamentally Damages More Than Just the Rule of Law.
Today, US District Court Judge Dabney French heard the case. Unfortunately, I don’t think it went all that well for our side via the Wall Street Journal article Judge Weighs Eviction Ban Ruling.
A federal judge on Monday questioned the legality of the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium, but also expressed uncertainty about whether she has the authority to block it.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in Washington held a brief morning hearing to consider an emergency request by a group of property managers and Realtors to block the latest eviction ban, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopted on Aug. 3.
Judge Friedrich ruled in May that the CDC didn’t have the legal authority to issue the previous nationwide moratorium that expired in July, but her ruling never went into effect because of continued litigation.
The judge noted that the appeals court above her, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said in June that it believed the federal government had strong arguments in defense of the moratorium.
“Why are my hands not tied in light of the D.C. Circuit opinion?” the judge asked a lawyer for the plaintiffs challenging the eviction ban. She said she hoped to issue a ruling on the new emergency challenge in the near future.
Showing that Kavanaugh was too clever by half, Judge Friedrich said that despite Kavanaugh’s personal opinion, the fact remained that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision had said that CDC had all the authority it needed to take over the private real estate market.
Judge Friedrich said Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence wasn’t necessarily the controlling view for the Supreme Court because none of the other justices explained their views in the court’s brief order. Four other conservative justices indicated in one sentence that they would have blocked the past CDC moratorium, but “none of these justices gave their reasoning, so we don’t know exactly what they thought,” Judge Friedrich said.
The judge noted that this moratorium is basically the same moratorium she struck down a month ago. She doubted the CDC had any more authority today than it had then. She called the government out for playing games with the legal system based on Joe Biden’s own comments. But, at the same time, she was constrained by a ruling of the DC Circuit and by a Supreme Court action.
Judge Friedrich may find a way to strike this down based on Biden’s lack of good faith and his own stated opinion that his team does not believe the moratorium is Constitutional. But I doubt it. I think we’re looking at a long slog through the courts. The DC Circuit knows how the Supreme Court will rule if this comes back to them, so they will not be in a hurry to hear an appeal. By the time the case gets heard, we’ll be beyond the October expiration date, the DC Circuit will declare the court challenge will be moot, and then Biden’s CDC will issue a new moratorium.
The violence this is doing to the housing market can’t be overstated. Personally, I was planning on putting a new rental house on the market this month. Now I’ve decided that I can’t afford to do that until this moratorium sorts itself out. I don’t want someone squatting in a house that I own without any legal recourse but to pay taxes to let them live there.
Our only real hope is that somehow this case makes its way back to the Supreme Court and Kavanaugh is bright enough to realize that he has been punked. I’m not counting on that. But if that doesn’t happen, we’ve seen the nation’s residential rental market permanently placed under the control of the CDC because the Wuhan virus is just part of the ecosystem and is never going away.