Supreme Court Votes to Keep CDC’s Eviction Moratorium in Place Through July

Isabel van Brugen
By Isabel van Brugen
June 29, 2021USshare
Supreme Court Votes to Keep CDC’s Eviction Moratorium in Place Through July
Supreme Court in Washington, on June 8, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/File/AP Photo)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday voted to keep the nationwide moratorium on evictions implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in place for another month.

In a 5-4 vote, the court rejected a plea by landlords to end the ban on evictions that was put in place amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic as some tenants struggled to pay rent. The ruling means that the moratorium will remain in place until July 31.

The Biden administration last week announced another extension of the national moratorium on evictions, to support renters and prevent foreclosures. The measure had previously been scheduled to expire on June 30.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who casts the pivotal vote, wrote in a separate opinion (pdf) that while be believes the CDC had exceeded its authority, he voted against ending the national eviction moratorium only because it is set to expire on July 31, “and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution” of the funds that Congress appropriated to provide rental assistance to those in need because of the pandemic.

Kavanaugh added that any additional extension of the nationwide moratorium on evictions past July 31 would require “clear and specific congressional authorization” via new legislation.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three liberal members also voted to keep the eviction moratorium in place, while Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas voted against the extension.

The Biden administration has said it does not plan to extend the moratorium past July 31. The White House has since announced several actions to help state and local governments prevent a “flood of evictions” when the freeze ends.

The decision comes as roughly 6 million households are behind on rent payments, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

There are nearly 110 million Americans living in renter households and 19 million to 23 million of them are at risk of eviction by Sept. 30, according to a study by the Aspen Financial Security Program.

The White House has announced several actions to help state and local governments prevent a “flood of evictions” when the freeze ends.

According to the White House, there’s more than $46 billion available for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program that could be used to help vulnerable renters and landlords. Hence, state and local governments “must do better” in moving this money to people in need, the White House said in a fact sheet.

The Biden administration is urging state and local courts “to adopt anti-eviction diversion practices” to prevent a rush to eviction and encourage mediation between tenants and landlords.

In addition, the Treasury Department is allowing the funds for state and local governments and for emergency rental assistance to be used to finance eviction diversion plans, including counseling, navigator, and legal services.

As part of the plan to prevent evictions, the White House will also host an online summit of “local government, judicial, legal, and community leaders from 50 cities” to develop community-specific solutions and action plans to help tenants and landlords.

Emel Akan contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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