The U.S. Supreme Court in a ruling Thursday blocked the Joe Biden administration's eviction moratorium meant to create a buffer for households struggling to pay their rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The high court said in an unsigned opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which imposed a renewed moratorium early this month to temporarily freeze evictions of those who are behind on their rent until Oct. 3, lacked the authority to do so under federal law without explicit congressional authorization.
"It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken," the court wrote. "But that has not happened. Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts."
The three liberal justices of the nine-seat court dissented from the ruling.