Supreme Court Declines to Stay COVID Eviction Halt in Effect

On June 29, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States, by way of a 5-4 vote, declined to lift the federal residential eviction moratorium imposed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”), which will now remain in effect until its expiration on July 31, 2021.

In Alabama Assoc. of Realtors et. al. v. Dept. of Health and Hum. Serv[1]., the Supreme Court was asked to examine whether the CDC exceeded its authority when it imposed a ban on residential evictions in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This federal residential eviction was initially passed by former President Donald Trump’s administration, and subsequently extended by President Joe Biden. The federal residential eviction moratorium was only applicable to residential tenants who, if evicted, would have “no other available housing options.”

In his concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanagh explained that although he agreed with the District Court decision that the CDC had “exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium,” he still declined to remove the ban. Further elaborating, he stated “[b]ecause the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application [to remove the moratorium].” He also noted that should the CDC look to extend the eviction ban past the July 31 deadline, they would need “clear and specific” congressional authorization through new legislation.

[1] 594 U.S. No.20A169 (2021)