On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down the federal moratorium on evictions and rent payments, setting up a battle with the Biden Administration over one of the most controversial coronavirus-related restrictions, as reported by the New York Post.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court’s six conservative justices ultimately ruled that the latest extension of the moratorium on August 3rd was unconstitutional, as it had been unilaterally ordered by the Biden Administration’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) without approval from Congress.
The extension was planned to last into October. The court had previously ruled in June that the extension could be allowed to remain in place until July 31st, a decision which subsequently led to the CDC’s arbitrary extension just days later. In the majority’s opinion, any possible extension of the moratorium must be approved by Congress and signed into law by the president.
Democrats defended the policy and criticized the court’s ruling. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that “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.” Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.) slandered the court as “a group of right-wing extremists” who “just decided to throw families out of their homes during a global pandemic.”
The case was brought before the Supreme Court by a coalition of landlords in Alabama and Georgia, who filed an emergency motion with the court after a federal appeals court had previously ruled in favor of the extension. The policy aimed to indefinitely freeze rent or mortgage payments nationwide for those who claimed they would not be able to meet such financial obligations as a result of unemployment caused by the economic lockdowns. Some say that the eventual end of the moratorium could lead to an inevitable housing crisis, as a result of not only millions of tenants being forcibly evicted at once, but many landlords also being unable to make their own payments due to no collection of rent.