Gavin Newsom Vows to Continue CA Eviction Moratorium Despite SCOTUS Verdict

California Governor Gavin Newsom has vowed to continue an eviction moratorium in the state that was implemented earlier in the COVID pandemic, following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to end protections across the country.

In a ruling on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration's federal eviction moratorium from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was scheduled to end on October 3.

The moratorium was issued on August 3, days after the previous ban expired and Congress failed to act by passing a replacement, with the CDC saying that it was needed to combat the increase of COVID cases across the U.S. due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

In the 6-3 decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court ended the ban early and ruled that the CDC did not have the legal authority to stop evictions and explained that "Congress must specifically authorize" a federal moratorium for it to continue until the planned end date.

"The CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination," the decision reads. "It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts."

Justice Stephen Breyer, who dissented from the decision alongside other liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, argued that the CDC had the authority to "design measures that, in the agency's judgment, are essential to contain disease outbreaks," and added: "The public interest is not favored by the spread of disease or a court's second-guessing of the CDC's judgment."

Following the announcement of the decision on Thursday, Newsom's office responded by saying that the eviction moratorium would continue in the state, confirming that "California renters will NOT be impacted by this news, the state's eviction moratorium remains in effect.

"We're focused on ensuring tenants and small landlords get the rent relief they need under California's renter assistance program, the largest in the country."

California renters will NOT be impacted by this news, the state’s eviction moratorium remains in effect.

We’re focused on ensuring tenants and small landlords get the rent relief they need under California’s renter assistance program, the largest in the country.

— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) August 27, 2021

Separate to the CDC's moratorium, Newsom signed a bill for the state on June 28 that "provides state-wide eviction and foreclosure protections for many residential tenants and property owners suffering from economic hardship due to COVID-19."

The eviction protections will run through September 30.

The Supreme Court's decision on Thursday prompted outrage from several prominent Democrats, with Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline urging Congress to "come back into session and vote to extend the moratorium" and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio describing the decision as "vile" and "unjust."

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released a statement saying that the Joe Biden administration was "disappointed that the Supreme Court has blocked the most recent CDC eviction moratorium while confirmed cases of the Delta variant are significant across the country."

Psaki added that the ruling would mean "families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19," as she confirmed that President Joe Biden is calling on local entities to urgently act to prevent evictions."

Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom attends a press conference for the official reopening of the state of California at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 15, 2021 in Universal City, California. Newsom has vowed continue an eviction moratorium in the state. Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images