While it has long been known that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a CINO (conservative in name only), it may come as a surprise that one of Trump's own SCOTUS appointees, Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the three supreme court justices in a divided decision refusing to lift the moratorium on evictions implemented by the CDC during the covid pandemic and which is due to expire in any case at the end of July.
The 5-4 vote had little practical value, and rejected calls by landlords and real-estate trade associations from Alabama and Georgia to block the moratorium while their challenge goes forward. They contend the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority by imposing the ban.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberals in the majority. Kavanaugh cast the pivotal vote, saying he was letting the ban stay in effect even though he thought the CDC had exceeded its power.
“Because the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application,” Kavanaugh wrote.
One wonder how he would have voted if the moratorium was set to end at the end of the year, or next summer? We'll find out after the next split vote from SCOTUS. In any case, Kavanaugh said he would require congressional authorization to extend the ban beyond July 31, something the CDC has said it doesn’t intend to do but then again the CDC also appears unaware of the full-court press from the mainstream media to elevate the panic level over the Delta variant to code red in advance of another round of global lockdowns.
The other eight justices gave no explanation. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett said they would have blocked the moratorium. The liberals, of course, were all for letting squatters live rent free in perpetuity.
The decision came after a federal trial judge ruled that the moratorium exceeded the CDC’s authority but then put a stay on the ruling while the government appealed. The challengers then asked the Supreme Court to lift the stay.
The ban applies to tenants who, if evicted, would have “no other available housing options." The CDC and President Joe Biden’s administration say the moratorium is geared toward protecting tenants who would be forced to live in close quarters elsewhere or become homeless and dependent on shelters.