US Tennessee Courts Say Biden's New Eviction Moratorium 'Not Applicable' in State
Biden 'can't guarantee' courts won't overturn his eviction moratorium
President Joe Biden conceded on Thursday he can't guarantee the courts won't find his new eviction moratorium unconstitutional but noted it will at least buy renters some time. © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Biden told reporters at the White House he spoke to 'a number of legal scholars' about the moratorium and there was a 'split' in their opinion. 'I can't guarantee you the court won’t rule that we don't have that authority but at least we'll have the ability to, if we have to appeal, to keep this going for a month - at least. I hope longer,' he said.
Barbara Peck, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee state court system, said Wednesday that state court attorneys advised that the newly-extended eviction moratorium is "not applicable in Tennessee," the Associated Press reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced the new ban on evictions, now set to expire on October 3, after the previous moratorium temporarily lapsed over this past weekend. However, the's authority to command a pause in evictions has been contested.
Cori Bush Faces GOP Backlash Over Security While Pushing Police Defunding: What She Said
Bush is facing backlash from some Republicans who say she's a hypocrite for employing a private security detail while advocating for defunding the police. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) speaks to supporters at a rally on the eviction moratorium at the U.S. Capitol on August 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. News organizations reported that the Biden Administration plans to institute a new eviction moratorium for areas with high levels of COVID-19, days after Bush started camping out on the steps of the Capitol Building to protest the end of the CDC's original moratorium.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, covering Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, issued a ruling in late July that the CDC does not have the ability to enact an eviction moratorium. Additionally,Justice cautioned in June that President 's administration should not take any further action in regard to the moratorium with approval from , the Associated Press reported.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:
Landlords from Alabama whose bid to lift the earlier pause on evictions failed returned to federal court in Washington late Wednesday, asking for an order that would allow evictions to resume.
The administration is counting on differences between the new order and the eviction pause that lapsed over the weekend to bolster its legal case. At the very least, as Biden himself said, the new moratorium will buy some time to protect the estimated 3.6 million Americans who could face eviction from their homes.
Under pressure from progressive lawmakers like Rep. Cori Bush, the CDC extends eviction moratorium
Under mounting pressure from progressive lawmakers, particularly Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a new, more limited eviction moratorium aimed at curbing transmission of COVID-19 that will remain in effect until Oct. 3. The extension of the eviction ban applies to parts of the U.S. with high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, the CDC said. “The eviction moratorium allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates,” the CDC said in a statement released Tuesday.
Some legal scholars who doubt the new eviction ban will stand up say its legal underpinnings are strikingly similar to the old one.
"Meet the new moratorium, same as the old moratorium!" Ilya Somin, a George Mason University law professor who backed Biden over former Presidentlast year, wrote on Reason.com.
Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor, said he expects landlords "all over the country to turn immediately to the courts in an effort to secure a preliminary injunction," an order that would effectively allow evictions to resume.
The basic legal issue is whether the CDC has the authority in the midst of a public health crises to impose a pause on evictions, under existing federal law that dates to 1944.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled in May the CDC exceeded its power under that law, a decision Bagley called "measured and sensible." But Friedrich kept her ruling in favor of the Alabama landlords on hold pending appeal.
Biden thinks his new eviction moratorium may be doomed. Here’s why he’s trying it anyway.
He’s hoping the courts give it a little more time.Biden spoke at a press conference Tuesday afternoon shortly before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new order imposing a moratorium on certain evictions. The CDC’s new order is substantially similar to a previous eviction moratorium that expired at the end of July, but with one exception.
In June, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the moratorium to remain in place through the end of July, even though one justice in the majority, Kavanaugh, wrote he believed the CDC lacked authority to order it. Extending the moratorium any further, Kavanaugh wrote, would be possible only with "clear and specific congressional authorization [via new legislation]."
In the landlords' new court filing, lawyer Brett Shumate wrote that "the CDC caved to the political pressure by extending the moratorium, without providing any legal basis." The administration has until early Friday to respond.
Congress has not acted. Neither the House norhad the votes for a temporary extension, and Speaker of the House did not so much as hint Tuesday that she would try to move legislation through the House.
Video: WH says Biden mulling legal action to reinstate eviction moratorium (Daily Mail)
"Today is a day of extraordinary relief. Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, the imminent fear of eviction and being put out on the street has been lifted for countless families across America. Help is Here!" Pelosi said in a statement.
'The Squad' celebrates Biden eviction moratorium
Members of "the Squad," including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), celebrated President Biden's targeted 60-day eviction moratorium, holding up the action as a major progressive victory just days after the nationwide federal eviction ban expired.Among the lawmakers to celebrate was Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who has been demonstrating on the steps of the Capitol for the past five days in protest of the moratorium expiring on Saturday and has been hailed as the key figure behind the administration's latest action."On Friday night, I came to the Capitol with my chair.
Biden was told a new nationwide moratorium, like the one that just expired, would likely be blocked by courts, according to a senior White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
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.
White House press secretaryinsisted Wednesday that Biden, who has a law degree, would not have supported it if he was uncomfortable with the legal standing or approach, despite the doubts he aired publicly a day earlier.
"This is a narrow, targeted moratorium that is different from the national moratorium. It's not an extension of that," Psaki said.
Pelosi helped recruit Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe to work on a solution and persuade the White House that a narrower moratorium could stand up in court, according to a person who was granted anonymity to discuss private conversations.
The new order protects renters only in parts of the country where there is significant COVID-19 transmission, though in practice it initially covers areas where 90 percent of the U.S. population lives. Evictions can resume once there is a lasting reduction in new infections.
Biden Admin to Implement Limited Eviction Moratorium
A previous moratorium on evictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expired on July 31. The moratorium was initially instituted in September 2020 to limit coronavirus transmission by reducing the movement of people. The new moratorium will be targeted to places with high coronavirus transmission, sources told various outlets. Details of the order were not immediately available. “I’ve indicated to the CDC that I’d like them to look at other alternatives than the one [currently] in existence,” President Biden told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
The differences are significant, some legal scholars said.
"What this does is very directly link the moratorium to the control of COVID-19," said Emily Benfer, a Wake Forest law professor who studies health and housing. With all the information that is now known about the new Delta variant, "the war on COVID has changed" since last time the question of the moratorium was before the Supreme Court, she said.
Brianne Gorod, of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center, also cautioned against reading too much into Kavanaugh's one-paragraph comment on the moratorium from late June.
Courts will "consider how the spread of the Delta variant and its significant transmissibility make clear the need for this more targeted moratorium," Gorod said.
Two large Ohio court systems on Thursday issued conflicting decisions regarding the new moratorium. In Franklin County, home to state capital Columbus, County Administrative Judge Ted Barrows said the moratorium wouldn't be enforced based on last month's 6th Circuit decision.
But in Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, the new moratorium will be enforced, according to a release from the office of Housing Court Judge Mona Scott, who noted the county has the second-highest coronavirus transmission level in Ohio.
Some housing advocates said the new system would be complicated but would prevent some evictions. Their clients were grateful for the reprieve.
Antoinette Eleby, 42, of Miami, said she had been worried as she expected an eviction order within two to three weeks after she said her landlord twice refused to take federal rental assistance. She had sent five of nine children to live with her mother in another county.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls on Joe Biden to Extend Eviction Moratorium, Overrule CDC
The CDC was "unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium," White House press secretary Jenn Psaki said Monday. "What we need is for the White House to actually do, to do the thing—and they need to actually extend the moratorium," Ocasio-Cortez said.For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen briefed House Democrats Tuesday on the administration's efforts to prevent widespread housing evictions after a moratorium lapsed, but lawmakers protesting outside the U.S.
But after hearing about the new CDC order, Eleby said she was hopeful the additional time would persuade her landlord to take the federal funds and she could remain in her home. She has been told by her lawyer that the order means she cannot be evicted by sheriff's officers.
"Now that this happened, I'm kind of at ease. I am just seeing what are the next steps. I just have to continue hoping for the best," said Eleby, who couldn't work for part of the pandemic after her family contracted COVID-19.
Democrats have only themselves to blame for the end of eviction moratorium .
Democrats are in disarray over the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium, and some on the Left are trying to blame the Supreme Court for the mess. “The lapsed eviction moratorium is the Supreme Court’s fault,” Ian Millhiser writes at Vox, and “The Supreme Court Caused the Looming Eviction Disaster,” adds Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, with Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and White House, all they would have needed was a simple one-sentence bill to give the CDC the authority it needs to continue the eviction moratorium.