NEWS & ANALYSIS

SCOTUS Upholds Eviction Moratorium


In a decision that takes a bite out of both contract law and the rights to private property, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to lift the eviction moratorium for tenants who’ve fallen behind on rent during the pandemic. 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the court rejected an emergency request by landlords and real-estate companies to clear the way for evictions after a federal judge ruled last month that the moratorium was legally unsupportable. 

While the moratorium has benefited and protected millions of tenants, it’s created financial difficulties for landlords. Originally, it was set to expire Wednesday, but the CDC extended it for the third time through the end of July. 

The issue split the Court on a 5 to 4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh siding with the liberal justices. 

As is usually the case with emergency appeals, the court didn’t explain its reasoning. 

However, Justice Kavanaugh issued a single-paragraph concurrence explaining his views. He said he believed the moratorium was unlawful but was willing to leave it in place, adding that it would allow for “additional and more orderly distribution” of rental-assistance funds.