The new eviction moratorium against landlords announced Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could run into opposition at the Supreme Court, where one justice in late June warned the administration not to act further without explicit congressional approval. But the administration went ahead without Congress weighing in, after officials devised a plan with enough changes to, they hope, make it less vulnerable to court challenges.
"We function in a government of laws," Ethan Blevins of Pacific Legal Foundation explains to One News Now, adding that if Biden goes unchecked, future presidents could look back to this White House and argues that because Biden did, they can as well.
According to The Associated Press, some legal scholars who doubt the new eviction ban will stand up say its legal underpinnings are strikingly similar to the old one. Blevins offers the same assessment.
"There are ongoing lawsuits against the prior CDC eviction moratorium, and this one is in all ways that matter exactly the same as the one that was in place before … so in a sense, really, it's already sort of challenged," says Blevins. "It may be that more lawsuits will enter the water now that the president has signaled vulnerability."
It was only a few days ago that the prior CDC eviction moratorium was about to expire and the president said it was out of his hands. But talking to people this week about the extension, Biden stated: "Maybe it's illegal, but it's worth it."
Blevins' reaction? "That's going to be Exhibit A in a lot of lawsuits across the country."
Pacific Legal Foundation is involved in lawsuits against the CDC eviction moratorium. One is in Ohio, the other Louisiana.
"There is no question the tenants are suffering, but about half of the landlords in the United States are people who rely on it for their income, retirement, and so forth," the PLF attorney explains. "So, these are normal, everyday people who are suffering as well, and they have property rights that they paid for and those rights can't simply be taken away by fiat."
Blevins also pushes back against the "notion that people are going to be kicked out on the street" without the eviction moratorium.
"That's just not how the eviction process works, first at all," he explains. "It's often a long, drawn-out, months-long court proceeding, [and] it's actually unlawful in every state in the country for landlords to just kick somebody out on the street without any process – and there's no indication that landlords are going to do that."