If Congress Wants an Eviction Moratorium, It Needs to Pass One

In a major victory for constitutional norms, the Supreme Court overturned a lawless and essentially authoritarian policy of the Trump administration, and progressives are furious.

You read that right.

Let’s catch up. On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, and Donald Trump signed it into law. One provision of the massive $2.2 trillion legislation imposed a temporary ban on evictions for renters in response to the economic hardships caused by the pandemic. The case for the moratorium at the time didn’t rest on public health, but on the fact that the country was heading into a lockdown. Asking people to pay rent when they were told they couldn’t go to work didn’t make a lot of sense.

When the ban expired, long after the lockdowns ended, Congress opted not to extend it. So, with much self-congratulation, the Trump administration’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an eviction moratorium of its own, this time under the dubious pretext of stopping the spread of COVID-19. That moratorium extended into the first months of the Biden administration.

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