Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 21A23. Order granting emergency petition for relief from stay issued August 26, 2021.
The Supreme Court has lifted the stay of the United States District Court’s judgment vacating the Center for Disease Control order imposing a nationwide mortatorium on evictions.
It is not only rare that the Supreme Court would reach down to a trial court to vacate that court’s order during the pendency of appellate litigation, it is even more rare that the Court would so forcefully tip its hand concerning the likely outcome should the merits of the litigation be reached: The CDC’s exercise of power in issuing the eviction moratorium was so far outside its authority that, with respect to the likelihood of success of the realtors’ and landlords’ challenge, “it is difficult to imagine them losing.” (Per Curiam opinion, p.5).
Should a nationwide eviction moratorium remain desirable, Congress must specifically authorize such a measure.
Three justices dissented, citing changed conditions supporting the issuance of a new eviction moratorium and finding that the statute granting the CDC powers to act to control communicable disease support the eviction moratorium orders.