I’m writing today because it’s critical that the administration do everything in its power to stop the eviction catastrophe that’s going to happen if there isn’t federal intervention. The Delta variant is causing case increases the likes of which we haven’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic, and we have the resources to help people – Congress appropriated and sent the funding to help renters and landlords, but states and localities haven’t had enough time to spend the federal dollars. We need to extend the eviction moratorium.
I know you’re saying your hands are tied by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling but that is not the case. In his concurring opinion, Kavanaugh says that Congress would need to pass a law for the CDC to extend the moritorium. But that issue was not before the court. IT HAS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY. There is a term for this kind of opinion: DICTA.
As a legal matter, the CDC has the exact same authority it did in September 2020 when the moratorium was initially put into place. Might an extension eventually be struck down by SCOTUS. Maybe! But your administration doesn't need to assume so. Kavanaugh said he was voting to keep the moratorium in place to give states more time to distribute emergency rent assistance funds. But the vast majority of those funds still haven't been distributed. Also, the ruling was made before Delta.
There are other things that the administration could do to present a different fact pattern to SCOTUS. For example, the CDC could require landlords to distribute info on how to protect themselves from Delta 30 days before initiating an eviction. This would effectively extend the moratorium 30 more days while presenting the court a very different fact pattern.
But either way, the administration could act. You are choosing not to. Millions could soon face eviction. Please get to work now. Thanks.
▶ First sent on August 3, 2021 by Jessica