The federal government has been more than happy to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an emergency justification to deny untold numbers of Americans their property without even a wink and a nod at the due process of law. The “eviction moratorium” put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has neither safeguards in place for property owners nor was it put in place with even a hint of authority under the Constitution.
Conservatives who are likely wondering how a blanket prohibition on collecting rent could be allowed in America need look no further than President Trump’s second appointee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.
Justice Kavanaugh had the opportunity to strike down the moratorium and find that the CDC has no constitutional power to invalidate every lease agreement in the country unilaterally. Rather than doing so, he joined the liberal branch of the Court, including Chief Justice John Roberts, to let the moratorium stand.
While he wrote that he did not find constitutional authority for the CDC to enact the restrictions, he decided to let them stand. He also left the door open for an extension, which of course, is what the White House has been fighting for since the Court’s ruling.
Kavanaugh found that the moratorium was scheduled to end ”in only a few weeks,” and letting it stand “will allow for an additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds” by the Department of the Treasury.
Leaving the door open for additional executive action or legislation for an untold number of other months leaves every landlord in their current position and sends crippling signals to the real estate market. Liberals, of course, never seem to understand that in trying to help renters, they are severely undercutting the supply of available housing to working people everywhere.
President Joe Biden spent the last few days predictably pressuring Congress to ratify the CDC moratorium and extend it further.
Although Congress did not act before the moratorium ended on July 31, several states still have local restrictions on evictions in place. Congress can still reinstate the ban on evictions, and any evictions initiated after July 31 could take weeks or months to become final under applicable state and local laws.