Brett Kavanaugh, who provided a crucial fifth vote, said he agrees that the CDC does not have the authority to override rental contracts.
The Supreme Court yesterday declined to remove a stay on a decision against the nationwide eviction moratorium that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A concurring statement by Justice Brett Kavanaugh nevertheless indicates that a majority of the Court thinks the CDC's order, which was recently extended and is now scheduled to expire at the end of July, exceeds its statutory authority.
On May 5, Dabney Friedrich, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that the moratorium, which applies to tenants who claim financial hardship, is not authorized by the Public Health Service Act, the statute that the CDC cited as the basis for its order. "Because the plain language of the Public Health Service Act…unambiguously forecloses the nationwide eviction moratorium," Friedrich wrote, "the Court must set aside the CDC Order, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act…and D.C. Circuit precedent."