U.S. Supreme Court Ends Unconstitutional CDC Eviction Moratorium

Posted on 08/30/2021


The U.S. Supreme Court on August 26, 2021 ruled that the CDC eviction moratorium was unconstitutional. If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it striking a blow to the executive branch. Without congressional approval, does a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services have the powers to regulate and oversee real estate transactions? The CDC is a non-elected board of government employees and had determined that evictions are health risks during COVID.

ALABAMA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, ET AL. v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. ON APPLICATION TO VACATE STAY.

PER CURIAM.

It reads, “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.”

LINK: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/21a23_ap6c.pdf

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