Law & the Courts

Biden Admin Issues Eviction Moratorium for Areas with High COVID Transmission

President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters after speaking about the pace of coronavirus vaccinations at the House in Washington, D.C., July 29, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

The Centers for Disease Control issued a housing eviction moratorium for counties with “high” or “substantial” coronavirus transmission on Tuesday.

A majority of counties in the U.S. currently record “high” or “substantial” coronavirus transmission, according to CDC criteria.

“This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “It is imperative that public health authorities act quickly to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

The new order will expire on October 3.

A previous moratorium by the CDC expired on July 31. The Biden administration has previously signaled that it does not have the legal authority to extend the expired moratorium.

In a June ruling, the Supreme Court upheld an extension of the previous moratorium until the end of July. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Bret Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberal justices in upholding the extension, however Kavanaugh wrote that any new extensions would need “clear and specific congressional authorization.”

Congress did not give authorization for a total moratorium on evictions over the weekend, leading to condemnation from progressive Democrats.

“The House and House leadership had the opportunity to vote to extend the moratorium and there was, frankly, a handful of conservative Democrats in the House that threatened to get on planes rather than hold this vote,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said on Monday. Ocasio-Cortez labeled fellow Democrats “cowards” for failing to extend the moratorium.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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