Supreme Court Strikes Down CDC Eviction Moratorium, Upholds Rule of Law

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the nationwide eviction moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control, which was ostensibly aimed at helping people who may have been economically harmed during the Covid pandemic. CEI scholars praised the ruling upholding the rule of law.

Devin Watkins, CEI Attorney:

“The Supreme Court upheld the rule of law, striking down the CDC’s unconstitutional eviction moratorium and reinforcing the principle that only the people’s elected representatives can make law. Also, this Court decision may have saved the taxpayers billions of additional compensation to property owners because under the Fifth Amendment, forcing landowners to allow someone to live on their property without the owner’s consent is a taking of their property for which the Constitution requires ‘just compensation’.”

Joel M. Zinberg, CEI Senior Fellow:

“In vacating the stay of a lower court ruling that struck down the CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the rule of law. The Court found the agency had exceeded the authority Congress granted it under the 1944 Public Health Service Act. It also implied that the moratorium implicates constitutional issues since it ‘intrudes into an area that is the particular domain of state law: the landlord-tenant relationship.’

“While the CDC claims, on dubious grounds, that the moratorium is needed to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Court concluded that ‘our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends’.”

Related analysis:

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Time to Rein in Government’s Pandemic Overreach — Starting with CDC’s Eviction Ban