A coalition of Realtor groups asked the Supreme Court on Thursday night to block the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s order that prohibits landlords nationwide from evicting tenants who fail to pay rent amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The current moratorium is set to expire on June 30.
A district court ruled against the CDC, holding that the moratorium was unlawful, but then put its ruling on hold pending appeal. The DC Circuit declined to lift the stay.
The Realtor groups asked the justices to step in — on an emergency basis — arguing that “Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims.”
They argue that the moratorium has resulted in “over $13 billion in unpaid rent per month.”
The CDC extended the eviction moratorium to June 30 in March, marking the third time the deadline for lifting the ban has been pushed back. Its order first went into effect last September and initially was set to expire at the end of 2020. Then in December, the protection was extended until January 31. As one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden called on the CDC to extend the ban until March 31.
The original eviction ban was approved by lawmakers as part of a massive coronavirus relief bill in March 2020.
There have been several legal challenges to the moratorium. Some courts have said the CDC has the authority to issue the order and rejected efforts to stop the ban, while others have ruled in favor of landlords. A federal judge in Ohio ruled that the CDC had overstepped its authority in issuing a nationwide eviction ban. Housing experts have noted that there have been conflicting rulings at the district court level, all of which have had limited impact.
This story has been updated with background information.