The Supreme Court on Thursday, Aug. 26, barred the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from implementing the federal statutory prohibition on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to NBC News, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the landlords in a 6-3 vote, saying that “if a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”
The CDC in early August issued a new eviction moratorium to carry through to at least Oct. 3 this year.
Several landlords objected to the move, claiming that the CDC lacked the right to enforce such a restriction on its own. In addition, they argued that they had lost nearly $19 billion per month because of the ban.
“Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it claims,” the landlords said in their complaint to the Supreme Court.
Six judges agreed with the landlords’ arguments.
“It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened,” the judges wrote in an unsigned opinion.
“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,” they continued.
The three others, all liberals, dissented with the ruling, including Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
Breyer, representing the three, pushed back on the landlords’ claim they had lost billions, arguing that more than $46.5 billion had been authorized by Congress to assist in paying back rent.
Regarding the CDC’s authority over the ban, Breyer said the situation might differ considering the manifestation of the lethal virus in the country, especially as “how little we may presume to know about the course of this pandemic.”
Before the CDC issued the ban, President Biden said that his administration was not confident if it had the legal right.
The current policy would protect approximately 3.6 million Americans from becoming homeless during the strenuous period of spiking COVID-19 or CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases.
The White House said it was disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling, stressing the current situation with the Delta variant in the country.
“As a result of this ruling, families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19,” the White House said, per NBC News.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who joined the eviction protest on the Capitol steps, vowed not to give up.
“We were outside the Capitol for 5 days. Rain. Heat. Cold,” she wrote. “If they think this partisan ruling is going to stop us from fighting to keep people housed, they’re wrong. Congress needs to act immediately. For every unhoused or soon to be unhoused person in our districts.”