A group of Alabama landlords is asking the Supreme Court to strike down a nationwide eviction moratorium put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
The request, filed late Thursday evening, came after a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., declined to end the policy, which was instituted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year. The group, led by the Alabama Association of Realtors, said CDC officials had overstepped their authority by halting evictions.
The group asked Chief Justice John Roberts, who handles requests from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to grant an emergency order allowing evictions to resume.
“Landlords have been losing over $13 billion every month under the moratorium, and the total effect of the CDC’s overreach may reach up to $200 billion if it remains in effect for a year,” attorneys wrote in the brief.
The CDC’s moratorium is set to expire in June. Its expiration date has already been extended several times. The order was originally instituted to prevent the spread of the pandemic in overcrowded buildings.
The group argued in its brief that as more and more people are vaccinated, the public health rationale for continuing the moratorium is diminishing rapidly.
“The CDC’s continued insistence that public-health concerns necessitate that landlords continue to provide free housing for tenants who have received vaccines (or passed up the chance to get them) is sheer doublespeak,” attorneys wrote.
As the pandemic has wound down over the past few months, the moratorium has faced a series of legal challenges throughout the country. The Alabama Association of Realtors has seen mixed success with its own challenge. A federal district judge in Washington, D.C., struck down the order last month but held off on enforcing it while the Biden administration appeals to the D.C. Circuit.
The delay in enforcement prompted the landlord group to appeal to the D.C. Circuit for an emergency order. Its rejection in turn triggered its application to the Supreme Court.