U.S. Supreme Court: CDC Lacks Eviction-Ban Authority

However, the CDC previously said a July 31 extension would be the last, and the court will keep the ban in place for the “orderly distribution of … rental assistance funds.”

By Kerry Smith

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacked authority to implement a blanket, nationwide eviction moratorium in a case brought by the Georgia and Alabama Associations of Realtors®.

The CDC recently extended the ban to July 31, 2021, though, and the court also agreed to keep the ban in place until then. The ruling, however, means that there won’t be a surprise extension again in the waning months of July.

National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Charlie Oppler called it a victory in a statement, even though the ban will continue for another month. Beyond the ending date, he said it gives property owners “absolute clarity from our federal court system regarding property rights in America to avoid similar financial harm in the future.”

Oppler also called for governments to immediately get $50 billion in rental relief into the hands of landlords and property owners.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4. Justice Brett Kavanaugh offered a brief concurring opinion with the majority, even though he agreed that the CDC exceeded its authority; however, he also signed off on the current July 31 deadline and allowed it to stand because it will “allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.”

According to Kavanaugh, “clear and specific congressional authorization would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”

The Realtor associations turned to the Supreme Court in June after a federal district judge ruled that the CDC eviction ban was illegal. That judge, however, issued a stay on the ruling while the government appealed the decision. The Realtors were now asking the Supreme Court to uphold the district judge’s ruling and cancel the stay, so that evictions would again be allowed.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

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