Reed Smith Client Alerts

On August 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion to reinstate a court order blocking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) nationwide moratorium on residential evictions.

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which, in part, imposed a 120-day eviction moratorium on properties subject to federally backed mortgage loans. Congress did not renew the eviction moratorium after its 120-day term. Instead, the CDC promulgated a more expansive administrative eviction moratorium covering all residential properties nationwide and imposed criminal penalties on violators. The CDC’s moratorium was originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020; however, subsequent renewals extended the moratorium through October 3, 2021.

To support its actions, the CDC relied on the statutory provision of section 361(a) of the Public Health Service Act, which provides:

The Surgeon General, with the approval of the [Secretary of Health and Human Services], is authorized to make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession. For purposes of carrying out and enforcing such regulations, the Surgeon General may provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest ex-termination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.1