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Biden Extends Eviction Moratorium Through Oct. 3

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 4, 2021

President Joe Biden, via executive order, extended the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s eviction ban through Oct. 3, but admitted that, given a recent Supreme Court decision, it may not survive a court challenge, Bloomberg reported. 

The order itself applies only to persons in counties experiencing substantial or high rates of transmission, though this is still a substantial chunk of the nation, as previous CDC reports said 67 percent of counties could be categorized as such (Bloomberg's source says it's closer to 80 percent). 

The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the CDC, the agency through which the previous administration enacted an eviction ban, did not have the authority to implement such a measure, but said the order could stay, given that, at the time, the program was scheduled to end in mere weeks anyway. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in a concurring opinion, stated that a more orderly end to the moratorium would be preferable to an abrupt cancellation imposed by the court. But he added that the CDC should not be able to extend this moratorium without congressional action.

Given this background, Biden conceded that the new ban is unlikely to survive a court challenge. “The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster, number one,” he said. “But there are several key scholars who say that it may and it’s worth the effort.”

It appears, then, that the order was a way to buy time for states and local governments to distribute federal aid for tenants and landlords that was authorized months ago and held up due to bureaucratic delays; Biden is urging state and local governments to act quickly in distributing the aid now, because of the risk of a legal challenge.

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