On Thursday evening, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Biden administration’s order extending the pandemic-related eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The summary judgment states that the CDC had overstepped its authority by imposing the moratorium, which would have expired on Oct. 3. The decision means that evictions, in states or cities that have no moratorium of their own, can begin immediately.
Realtor associations in Alabama and Georgia, as well as landlords in those two states, challenged the policy, arguing that the law the CDC relied on did not allow it to apply the current ban. The justices granted the request, stating that the ban was too harmful to landlords and stated that Congress must pass authorizing legislation to allow the CDC to continue banning evictions.
“It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts,” the court said in an unsigned opinion.
All three liberal justices on the Court dissented. The White House said it is disappointed by the decision and called on all qualified entities that can prevent evictions to act urgently.
The CDC first issued a moratorium in September 2020 following the expiration of a previous one approved by Congress and based its authority on section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), which was used to quarantine infected animals, until now.
The latest moratorium, issued on Aug. 3, covered approximately 92 percent of U.S. counties—regions considered to have “substantial” and “high” levels of coronavirus transmission.
Stay tuned for more updates on this topic.