Supreme Court rules to keep eviction moratorium in place through July

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FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2020, file photo the sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving a pandemic-inspired nationwide ban on evictions in place, in a five to four vote on Tuesday.

The court rejected a plea by landlords to end the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention moratorium on evicting millions of tenants who aren’t paying rent during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the Biden administration extended the moratorium by a month, until the end of July. It said then it did not expect another extension.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh said he agreed with Friedrich’s ruling, but voted to leave the ban on evictions in place because it’s due to end in a month and “because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.”

The Treasury Department has also encouraged states and local governments to streamline distribution of the nearly $47 billion in available emergency rental assistance funding.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three liberal members also voted to keep the moratorium in place.

Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas said they would have ended it.

The eviction ban was initially put in place last year to provide protection for renters out of concern that having families lose their homes and move into shelters or share crowded conditions with relatives or friends during the pandemic would further spread the highly contagious virus.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, as of June 7, roughly 3.2 million Americans say they still face eviction in the next two months.

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