After several days of browbeating by far-left members of the Democrat Party, Joe Biden abandoned his responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution by issuing a new eviction moratorium immediately after he admitted that it was unconstitutional and would likely be rejected by the courts.
“The bulk of the constitutional scholars say it’s say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster,” Biden said during his press conference announcing the new eviction moratorium before adding, “By the time it gets litigated, it will probably give [renters] some additional time.”
Constitution? Biden and his CDC don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution.
Though White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claims otherwise, Joe Biden’s new eviction moratorium is essentially the same previously issued by the CDC, an order first issued by Donald Trump in September 2020 — the previous threat to the Constitution occupying the White House — and recently determined to be illegal by the Supreme Court.
Psaki’s defense of Biden and his unconstitutional eviction moratorium order couldn’t have been more pathetic and lame (via National Review):
Psaki claimed that the decision was signed off on by the CDC’s lawyers as well as the White House Counsel’s office. She said that Biden was “old school,” and that “the president would not have supported moving forward with any action where he didn’t feel there was legal standing and legal support.”
The way she tried to square the circle was to argue that the new order is different from the one the Supreme Court declared illegal in June. “What was announced was not an extension of the existing moratorium, which was of course national. It was a more limited moratorium that was going to be impacting and helping areas that were hardest hit by COVID,” she said. (emphasis mine)
The Biden administration had accepted the Supreme Court’s June opinion concerning the limitations placed on the executive branch by the Constitution, including Jen Psaki who, in a statement released earlier this week, admitted that Biden didn’t have the authority to extend the eviction moratorium. “To date, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and her team have been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium,” she said on Monday.
White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the President Gene Sperling appeared at a Monday press briefing along with Psaki where he also admitted that Biden didn’t have the authority to issue a new eviction moratorium:
“The President has not only kicked the tires; he has double, triple, quadruple checked. He has asked the CDC to look at whether you could even do targeted eviction moratorium—that just went to the counties that have higher rates—and they, as well, have been unable to find the legal authority for even new, targeted eviction moratoriums.” (emphasis mine)
The CDC’s eviction moratorium has been a constitutional mess from the very beginning; a tradition that continues with Biden’s new eviction moratorium order (via Reason.com):
Since it was first imposed, the CDC’s eviction order has proven legally controversial. Some six federal courts have ruled against the moratorium, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals two weeks ago. Three other federal courts have upheld the moratorium.
The CDC has consistently argued that its eviction moratorium is justified by public health laws and related regulations giving it the power to take actions “reasonably necessary” to prevent the spread of communicable disease. Property owners have argued in numerous lawsuits that the agency is illegally claiming for itself near-limitless power to issue whatever regulations it wants.
“The new moratorium is an only slightly scaled-down version of the old. As such, it has virtually all the same flaws and legal vulnerabilities,” wrote George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin earlier today at the Volokh Conspiracy (which is hosted by Reason). “The new version still must rely on a legal rationale giving the CDC virtually unlimited power to shut down any activity that might potentially facilitate the spread of disease in any way.” (emphasis mine)
Of course, the use of unconstitutional executive action is something Joe Biden is very familiar with.
Early in 2014, Obama informed America that he wouldn’t wait for Congress to create the legislation he wanted. Instead, he ignored the Constitution by issuing decrees (i.e. executive orders) via his “pen and phone” despite his commitment as a candidate in 2007 to roll back such executive overreach.
“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”
Donald Trump had something to say at the time about Obama’s promise to “go-it-alone” instead of working within the constraints of the Constitution, sharing his thoughts in a tweet:
Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2014
And Mike Pence, who was governor of Indiana in 2014, chimed in on Obama’s plan to use his pen and phone in areas like immigration:
“I think it would be a profound mistake for the President of the United States to overturn immigration law with the stroke of a pen. Issues of this magnitude should always be resolved with the consent of the governed. Signing an executive order, giving a speech, barnstorming around the country defending that executive order is not leadership.”
Calling Trump’s and Pence’s criticism of Obama’s executive overreach ironic would be an understatement; not only was it Trump who issued the first eviction moratorium, but from coronavirus to the Bill of Rights, Trump’s pen and phone left Obama’s in the dust.
Joe Biden’s new eviction moratorium is supposed to expire on October 3, but when you remember that it’s been extended five times already, there’s very little reason to believe it won’t be extended again . . . with or without Congress and the courts.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.