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Supreme Court blocks Biden's COVID eviction ban

The Supreme Court blocked President Biden's moratorium on evictions put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic in a 6-3 ruling on Thursday.

Why it matters: The court previously ruled that the administration couldn't extend the ban past July 31 without explicit congressional authorization. But after protests and a clash with Democratic lawmakers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the temporary ban through Oct. 3.

  • The case reached the Supreme Court after the Alabama Association of Realtors and other plaintiffs sued the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.

What they're saying: "It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken," the unsigned Supreme Court opinion read. "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 opinion noted.

Worth noting: Roughly 3.5 million people across the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, per Census Bureau data from early August.

The big picture: Biden had urged Congress to extend the moratorium ahead of the July 31 deadline.

  • House Democrats, however, argued the CDC should extend the moratorium even if it was overruled so states have more time to disperse money to renters and landlords while Congress found another solution.
  • The CDC extended the ban on Aug. 3 after Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and other progressives protested outside the U.S. Capitol.

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