A coalition of realtor groups led by the Alabama Association of Realtors filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC. The suit challenges the recent eviction moratorium filed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The realtor groups also blamed the Biden administration for pressuring the CDC. It said the White House’s actions are “nakedly political” and “unlawful.”
‘No Legal Basis’
According to the realtor group’s lawsuit, this new ban is entirely political. “[T]he CDC caved to the political pressure by extending the moratorium, without providing any legal basis. In substance and effect, the CDC’s latest action is an extension of the same unlawful ban on evictions that has been in effect since September 2020,” the motion wrote.
The realtor groups pointed out that the courts already said the CDC cannot issue an order like this. “Justice Kavanaugh’s controlling opinion was clear that the CDC could not extend the moratorium past July 31 absent ‘clear and specific congressional authorization. This Court has already concluded that the CDC lacks authority to issue or extend an eviction moratorium,” it added.
Biden Already Knew That A New Eviction Ban Won’t Hold
Prior to the CDC reissuing a new ban, President Joe Biden already hesitated at further extending the moratorium. He himself cited Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion. The SC earlier said that any further extensions of the moratorium need an act from Congress.
However, Congress couldn’t muster enough votes to extend the eviction ban. Meanwhile, progressive members of the President’s party kept pressuring Biden to do something.
As a result, Biden said that the CDC needs to issue a new ban even with significant legal concerns. “The bulk of the scholars say it is not likely to pass constitutional muster,” the president said Tuesday.
CDC Reissues New Eviction Ban
The CDC’s new order once again prevented landlords from evicting their tenants on the basis of unpaid rent. This was a policy originally implemented by the Trump administration aiming to stop the spread of COVID-19.
According to the agency, violators “may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both, if the violation does not result in a death, or a fine of no more than $250,000 or one year in jail, or both if the violation results in a death.”
However, the realtor groups pointed out that while the Supreme Court already ruled on this, the CDC had to follow White House orders. Doing so will “ease the political pressure, shift the blame to the courts for ending the moratorium, and use litigation delays to achieve a policy objective.
The Court should block the August 3 extension on an expedited basis to relieve the nation’s property owners of the burden of complying with this unlawful agency action.”
Sorry Realtor Groups, But Americans Don’t Care On The Legality
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House doesn’t believe that Americans cared about the legality of the president’s policies. “I’m not sure there are Americans evaluating it to that degree, maybe there are some you’ve talked to. He’s gonna do everything in his power to make sure they can stay in their homes as long as possible,” Psaki said.
Consequently, the attending DC district court judge gave the White House until 9 am Friday to respond to the emergency motion. The realtor groups’ motion wants the court to hold off the enforcement of the new eviction moratorium.
However, the case could quickly escalate to the D.C. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court no matter the outcome at the district court.
Watch the Bloomberg: Quicktake Now video reporting that Biden’s eviction ban extension draws challenge by landlords:
Do you support the realtor groups who want the new eviction moratorium invalidated? Or, do you support a further ban on evictions, at least until the pandemic subsides?
Let us know what you think. Share your comments below.