For Immediate Release:
Friday, June 11, 2021
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Alabama Assoc. of Realtors v. HHS, supporting the order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that prohibits evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic to help stop the spread of the disease.
“We are nearing the end of this pandemic, but too many North Carolinians still face unmanageable financial burdens and risk being evicted,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We need to make sure that everyone has a roof over their heads so they can recover from the past 15 months and so we don’t move backwards in our fight against this pandemic.”
Numerous jurisdictions including North Carolina have their own local moratorium on evictions, but the CDC’s order is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across state lines. Without the moratorium in place, millions of vulnerable people would be unsafely forced out of their homes and into streets, crowded shelters, and others’ homes across state lines, risking spreading COVID-19.
In their amicus brief in the case, which is on emergency application to the Supreme Court, Attorney General Stein and 22 other attorneys general argue that the CDC’s eviction moratorium should remain in place and states would face potentially catastrophic harm if it is suddenly vacated. With only about half of Americans fully vaccinated, such action could jeopardize the United States’ fragile health and economic recovery. Further, it would throw state COVID-19 responses into disarray, harm renters, and eliminate time that states need to properly disperse federal funds to help people catch up on their rent.
The CDC’s order is currently set to run through June 30, 2021, and could be extended again. The eviction ban was challenged by property owners, managers, and trade associations, who want to resume evictions. The lower court in this case ruled that the CDC does not have the authority to order a national eviction ban, but granted the government’s request to stay the court’s decision pending appeal. After the court of appeals denied plaintiffs’ motion to institute the order, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, asking for the stay to be vacated.
Attorney General Stein is joined in filing today’s brief by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada , New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
A copy of the brief is available here.