The federal eviction moratorium has bounced back and forth through federal court as justices wrestled to determine its legality. We previously reported on this blog that a D.C. District Court upheld the current administration’s eviction moratorium. However, since then the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the federal eviction moratorium and has issued a decision on whether it should stand.
The Supreme Court’s decision on the federal eviction moratorium
The Supreme Court recently struck down the current administration’s eviction moratorium. The court found that extending the moratorium would only be possible through new legislation, but Congress did not act to extend it and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not have standing to implement such an extension. Without congressional authorization, the majority of the court found that the current federal eviction moratorium could not stand.
It is important to note that Justice Kavanaugh previously sided with four other justices back in June but stated that he would only support the eviction moratorium until its scheduled expiration date of July 31. After that, he stated, it was up to Congress to extend the eviction moratorium past that date, which it failed to do.
Three justices dissented from the Supreme Court majority decision
Three Supreme Court justices disagreed with the majority opinion. The dissenters stated that circumstances surrounding the current public health crisis have changed since the court last visited this issue in June. They also stated that tenants suffered greater damages due to the current public health crisis compared to landlords. The dissenting justices also claimed that the issue should have been subjected to a full briefing and argument, rather than the truncated briefing it went through.
What does this decision mean for tenants and landlords?
This decision is crucial in the lives of both tenants and landlords in the Sarasota area. Tenants who have been unable to pay rent and are in so great arrears that they cannot catch up on what they owe may now face eviction. However, landlords too have suffered financially due to the non-payment of rent and may need to move forward with eviction proceedings in order to protect their own financial interests. Ultimately, both landlords and tenants will want to act to protect their interests in a manner that is fair and equitable.