Monthly Archives: August 2021

SCOTUS Strikes Down Eviction Moratorium

In a 6 to 3 vote the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on eviction moratoriums as being beyond the powers of the Center for Disease Control to enact, holding that such a moratorium, if permissible at all, would have to be enacted by Congress which has declined to do so. The usual suspects — Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan dissented.

As far as we can tell this decision did not use a taking theory as a basis for the ruling even though, it seems to us, that whoever enacts such a moratorium, whether the CDC or Congress, it would be taking the landlords’ property — i.e. the landlords’ right to collect rent on leased real estate, which — if memory serves — is an incorporeal hereditament, one of the “sticks” in the “bundle of rights” that comprise property.

Quoting from SCOTUS blog:
“The decision on the eviction moratorium was a decisive rebuke for the Biden
administration, with the majority writing that it “strains credulity to believe” that
the public-health law at the center of the case gives the Centers for Disease
Control the power to enact the moratorium. ‘If a federally imposed eviction
moratorium is to continue,’ the court stressed, ‘Congress must specifically
authorize it.’”

We’re Back — Sort of

Steady readers of this blog — and there may be a few — may have noticed that in the recent past there wasn’t any activity here. What happened is that we were hacked by people who screwed things up and it took an effort by skilled help to get us back afloat.

The nasty part of this hack was that whoever done it inserted spurious links into our text and disguised them as parts of sentences that on quick reading appeared to be a part of our blog. Believe it or not, some of them were in Swedish and some would take you to what appeared to be home pages of law firms. So it will take a while to go through our genuine posts with a fine-tooth comb and get rid of that garbage. So please bear wit us.

On the substantive side, SCOTUS gives every indication of taking an interest of the pandemic-inspired “moratorium” on evictions for nonpayment of rents which is a crude effort to commandeer rental properties of landlords who certainly had no hand in creating this mess, by de facto seizing control of rental properties and turning them over to tenants rent free. So stay tuned; we’ll have more to say on this subject.