(AP) — Despite the votes
of four conservative justices who objected, the Supreme Court
has upheld a pandemic-inspired nationwide ban on evictions.
The court on Tuesday rejected a landlords' petition to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
's moratorium on evicting millions of tenants who aren't paying rent
during the coronavirus pandemic
. The moratorium was extended by the Biden administration
by a month last week, until the end of July, and the administration said it did not expect another extension.
The moratorium had been overturned by U.S. Judge
Dabney Friedrich in Washington as exceeding the CDC
's authority, but the high court voted 5-4 to keep it in effect until the end of July.
In a brief opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh
agreed with Friedrich's decision, but voted to keep the eviction ban in place because it is set to expire in a month and "because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds."
Last week, the Treasury Department issued new guidance encouraging states and local governments to streamline the distribution of nearly $47 billion in available emergency rental assistance funding.
The moratorium was also upheld by Chief Justice John Roberts
and the court's three liberal members.
Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas all stated that it should have been ended.
The eviction ban was enacted last year to protect renters because it was feared that having families lose their homes and move into shelters or share crowded conditions with relatives or friends
during the pandemic would spread the highly contagious virus even further.
According to the Department of Housing
and Urban Development, 6.4 million American households were behind on their rent by the end of March, and as of June 7, roughly 3.2 million people
in the United States
said they expected to be evicted within the next two months, according to the United States Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey.