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Supreme Court allows evictions to resume during pandemic

Supreme Court
Posted at 6:41 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 22:28:03-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing evictions to resume across the United States, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement issued after the Supreme Court's late Thursday night action, the Biden administration said it was "disappointed."

"The Biden Administration is disappointed that the Supreme Court has blocked the most recent CDC eviction moratorium while confirmed cases of the Delta variant are significant across the country," the statement said. "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 Biden administration added that the CDC's eviction moratoriums "saved lives by preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the pandemic."

"In light of the Supreme Court ruling and the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, President Biden is once again calling on all entities that can prevent evictions – from cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies – to urgently act to prevent evictions," the administration said.

Roughly 3.5 million people in the United States said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to Census Bureau data from early August.

The court says in an unsigned opinion Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reimposed the moratorium Aug. 3, lacked the authority to do so under federal law.

The justices are rejecting the administration's arguments in support of the CDC's authority.

In the unsigned opinion, the court said that "if a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it," the Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, three liberal justices dissented.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the court should have left the moratorium in place because COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant were increasing, adding that "the public interest strongly favors respecting the CDC’s judgment at this moment, when over 90% of counties are experiencing high transmission rates,” the AP reported.