Now, finally, some sanity from the Supreme Court, as they strike down the CDC’s illegal eviction moratorium. Excerpt:
In swiftly striking down this federal overreach, six clear-headed rational jurists laid bare the utter absurdity of the Biden administration’s legal argument. The majority point out that the Biden Administration attempts to rely on “a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination.” “It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.”
See what the Biden administration does there? They try to equate CDC authority to implement fumigation and pest control to canceling lawful rental contracts. This is ludicrous. It is tantamount to the President of the United States – using power that he does not have – declaring “you may steal from your landlord. You may stay on her land as long as you wish and there’s not a damn thing she can do. I hereby suspend state eviction laws. I do this because my voting base wants me to and because I am the President.”
But here’s the real dinger:
Speaking of being held accountable. Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer need to explain themselves. But they can’t. And they won’t ever have to. They serve comfortably for life. In attempting to explain himself, Justice Breyer writes in his dissent:
COVID–19 transmission rates have spiked in recent weeks, reaching levels that the CDC puts as high as last winter: 150,000 new cases per day. And then Breyer shows us a COVID19 chart.
Wow. What an amazing feat of legal analysis. The best that three justices of the highest court in the United States can do is say basically; “well the COVID19 numbers are scary looking so the President and the CDC can just to whatever they want. We will rubber-stamp whatever you want to do, no matter how many Americans’ livelihoods are wiped out. Because COVID.”
To put that in simple English, Breyer’s argument is: “There’s a scary flu going around, so we’re in favor of just discarding centuries of contract law.”
There have been a lot of pixels spilled on this issue, and a lot of excellent arguments made in favor of kneecapping this illegal seizure of power (along with all the other illegal seizures of power taken in the last sixteen months.) Many writers rightly point out that this hurts landlords, most of whom are individual owners or small businesses, who still have to pay mortgages, taxes and upkeep on the property; that it will drive rental properties into the ownership of huge corporations that can absorb the short-term losses; that rental property inventories are likely to crash as a result of this idiotic policy.
And if you want evidence of how idiotic this policy is, just look at the people who support it.
But those arguments aren’t the main point, and also not why the six sane Justices stomped the brakes on this lunacy. The main point is that the entire thing was illegal from the get-go. The CDC has no authority to simply abrogate contract law. The Executive Branch has no authority to simply abrogate contract law. The Congress has no authority to simply abrogate contract law. And the Supreme Court, for once, acted rightly.
Wonders never cease.