Biden Forces SCOTUS Confrontation Over Evictions
Biden Forces SCOTUS Confrontation Over Evictions
Is Joe Biden a president constrained by the Constitution that he swore to uphold, or a dictator who can push new laws through bureaucracies with no legal authority?
The eviction moratorium that was re-imposed by the CDC, a government bureaucracy with exactly zero legal authority to create or enforce law, is insane. Team Biden knows that he has no authority to push through an executive action, nor does the CDC have the authority to enforce an eviction ban, and Biden admitted that HIMSELF to the press.
What Joe Biden did was the equivalent of doctor shopping to see which one would sign off on the pills. Team Biden is actually citing Laurence Tribe – who swallowed every single crackpot conspiracy theory during the Trump administration – as their constitutional scholar who said, “yeah, go for it.”
Amazing. Biden went to noted conspiracy theorist Laurence Tribe to extend the eviction moratorium.
He’s claimed Trump bribed Kennedy to retire, that the Steele dossier was bulletproof, the vaccine was a fraud and Trump stole the 2016 election.
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) August 5, 2021
I mean, clearly, THIS level of legal genius will NEVER steer you wrong! And when Jen Psaki was asked by the press about it, her answer was the equivalent of “LOL you think anyone is paying attention to us?”
More Portnoy: "He speaks often about democracy versus autocracy. He's issuing or overseeing this order from the CDC in the face of doubts about its constitutionality…He didn't call Congress back. He asked Congress to act. It didn't How do you square all that?" pic.twitter.com/fOXZxuoeST
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 4, 2021
All of this has really got to make Justice Brett Kavanaugh mad. After all, he wrote the decision in a 5-4 split that gave the CDC a scolding, but let the eviction moratorium expire without overriding it. At the time of the decision on June 29th, the CDC claimed that this was absolutely totally gonna be the LAST extension, and Kavanaugh believed them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium is currently set to expire July 31 after the Biden administration extended it last week, with the CDC saying it intended the move as the final extension. Some six million renter households are behind on rent, according to a recent Census survey.”
Kavanaugh wrote in Tuesday’s decision that he agreed with the lower-court ruling that the CDC had exceeded its authority but that its pending expiration swayed his thinking.”
“Because the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application to vacate the District Court’s stay of its order,” he wrote.”
I wonder what Justice Kavanaugh is thinking now. I’m also curious as to what Chief Justice Roberts is thinking now. We know Roberts, more than anything else, loves the institution of the court and preserving precedent, even when he has to rewrite law to do it. The CDC is issuing this eviction ban out of whole cloth. There’s no law to back them up, no enforcement authority to go after those who ignore their ban, and how on earth are any of these penalties enforceable when there is NO LAW on the books? Even Roberts might not be able to square that circle.
The new 60-day CDC eviction moratorium carries steep criminal penalties for individual landlords who break the law:
— Joseph Zeballos-Roig (@josephzeballos) August 3, 2021
But who wants to be the brave soul to actually test that in court?
Well, as of last night, the challenge has been filed.
In a filing Wednesday night with a federal district court judge in Washington, lawyers for the Realtors’ groups argued that the June decision from the justices means Biden’s latest move is illegal and should be immediately blocked. “The Supreme Court’s ruling was hardly ambiguous. Indeed, the White House clearly acknowledged that the Supreme Court had ruled that the CDC lacked authority to extend the moratorium—and that the CDC was blocked from extending the moratorium,” they wrote.”
Cue Laurence Tribe trying to do the samba to justify his insane legal advice.
Tribe pointed to two changes that could affect the Supreme Court’s take: one in the new policy and another in the state of the pandemic.”
While the earlier eviction ban applied nationwide — something Kavanaugh pointedly noted in his brief opinion in June — the new one applies only in areas of substantial or widespread Covid-19 transmission. “The initial moratorium was nationwide and not targeted in health-specific terms that are of a sort that fit the mandate of the CDC,” Tribe said.”
The new pandemic development is the recent surge in cases, powered by the more transmissible Delta variant. “It’s a question of whether the CDC can act in response to the concern about the Delta variant and target its actions,” Tribe added.”
The administration says the new ban will still cover about 90 percent of the U.S., including most major urban areas, and that it will last until Oct. 3. Tribe said he thinks those modifications might be enough to persuade the justices. “In a very large country, that leaves out a substantial part,” he said.”
The challengers are not buying that one.
The Realtors’ attorneys disputed that in Wednesday night’s submission. “The CDC’s semantic recasting of the latest extension — which covers 90% of renters across the country, while leaving intact its ability to ratchet up to 100% — is a distinction without a difference because it has no bearing on the CDC’s legal authority,” they wrote.”
And that truly is the crux of the argument. The CDC has no legal authority to do this, but Team Biden got legal advice from a fool, decided that the optics of “doing something” was better than nothing after Congress – who could, you know, PASS A LAW if it mattered so much – and decided to march all over the Supreme Court warning. So now, this is going to get settled in court, as Biden himself predicted.
The question is, will the courts move faster than expected? Biden fully expects to lose this argument, but wants to get a couple more months of an eviction moratorium for a political win to placate his hard left wing. I would love nothing more than for Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Barrett, and a righteously furious Kavanaugh to march back into chambers and slap down Biden and the CDC, and it should happen as soon as possible. Tomorrow, even. Wouldn’t that serve Biden and the CDC right?
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click