After Supreme Court strikes down eviction moratorium, Dems urge Pelosi, Schumer to revive ban
New eviction ban threat to constitutional order: Law professor
John Yoo, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, argues ‘brave’ landlords should try to evict people now and go to state courts since the eviction moratorium is unconstitutional.
Progressive lawmakers on Friday urged Democratic leaders to pass legislation extending a federal ban on evictions until the COVID-19 pandemic ends, hours after the Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration's latest moratorium protecting renters nationwide.
In an unsigned, eight-page opinion, the justices said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its authority with a two-month order pausing evictions in parts of the country experiencing "substantial" or "high" spread of the coronavirus. The court’s three liberal justices dissented.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS DISTRIBUTED JUST 6.5% OF AVAILABLE RENTAL AID IN FIRST HALF OF 2021
"It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts," the majority wrote, adding: "If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it."
A coalition of 60 House Democrats are now demanding that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi revive the ban, urging them in a letter to extend the pause on evictions as part of an upcoming must-pass bill, arguing the spread of the highly contagious delta variant increased the need for tenant protections.
"We implore you to act with the highest levels of urgency to advance a permanent legislative solution in a must pass legislative vehicle in order to extend the life-saving federal eviction moratorium for the duration of the deadly global health crisis," the lawmakers wrote. The effort was spearheaded by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley.
EVICTION MORATORIUM EXPIRED JULY 31, PUTTING MILLIONS AT RISK OF LOSING THEIR HOMES
The White House initally declined to extend the original ban, which protected all renters, arguing that its hands were tied by a June Supreme Court ruling. However, under immense pressure from progressive Democrats, the administration reversed course.
"The eviction moratorium has ended. If we do not act, this will undoubtedly lead to the increased spread of COVID-19, more deaths, and community-wide trauma," the Democrats wrote.
Still, House Democrats were unable to secure enough votes to pass a bill extending the ban earlier this summer, facing opposition from moderate members of their own party. Even if they drummed up enough support, the moratorium would almost certainly die in the 50-50 Senate.
Without the eviction halt, which the CDC first implemented last September, more than 15 million people living in the U.S. who were behind on their rental payments could have faced eviction, according to a recent study published by the Aspen Institute and COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project.
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The ban has also created financial hardship for many landlords.
According to an analysis from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, almost half of the country’s rental units are owned by individual investors landlords, or so-called "mom-and-pop" landlords, who depend on the money as part of their income.
The halt on evictions, which was slated to end on Oct. 3, was intended to give state and local government officials additional time to distribute roughly $46 billion in rental assistance that Congress approved in December and March. So far, a fraction of the money – about 10% – has been doled out, according to Treasury Department figures released this week.
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