Patterico's Pontifications


Federal Court Ends National Eviction Moratorium

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:09 pm

[guest post by JVW]

As we emerge from the lockdown world (granted, some states far more slowly than others), the judicial branch is starting to rein in the executive and legislative branches just a bit:

A federal judge on Wednesday invalidated a national eviction moratorium after finding that the COVID-19 pandemic policy exceeded the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Dabey Friedrich threw out the measure, which was enacted by Congress in March 2020 as part of the CARES Act and later extended by President Biden until June 30, 2021. Lawmakers cited the Public Health Service Act of 1944, which grants the federal government the authority to impose quarantines and other measures to handle health emergencies, as justification for the provision.

“The question for the court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the C.D.C. the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium?” Friedrich wrote in a 20-page decision. “It does not.”

The measure that initially passed Congress last spring was a 120-day moratorium on evictions from rental properties participating in federal assistance programs or underwritten by federal loans. Trump extended the moratorium in an executive order in August, saying that evictions threatened to spread the virus by forcing families to stay in shelters or to double up in overcrowded housing situations.

Given that the Biden Administration had thus far only extended the eviction moratorium through the end of June, the plaintiffs in this case, real estate interests in Alabama and Georgia, don’t particularly get much relief. Back in January the Trump Administration, on their way out the door, agreed to $25 billion in payments to landlords funneled through the states, in return for not evicting those tenants in arrears. Many landlords have complained, however, that the payments fall well short of the revenue they are actually losing, and that landlords did not receive a corresponding property tax moratorium to help them compensate. Tenants willingness to pay their rent over the past month is, as one might imagine, surprisingly stout in some locales, depressingly sketchy in others, and heavily determined by how serious the community is with respect to cracking down on abuses of the system.

What I think is most important here is that we are finally seeing some push-back against sometimes arbitrary rules emerging from unelected bureaucracies or being enacted without the consent of the legislature. Sure, one might argue that Judge Friedrich is a Republican appointee (Trump Administration) and that Obama or Clinton appointees will be far less likely to challenge federal bureaucrats, but this is one of the many reasons why we always maintain that the ability to appoint judges is so important. Hopefully the Washington DC crowd views this ruling as a sign that we need to return to a sense of market normalcy, the CDC is duly chastised (yeah, right!), and rising vaccination numbers along with the coming summer months help all of us get closer to the pre-COVID-19 world, even if we never quite return to the way things once were.


Rep. Liz Cheney Continues To Refuse To Push Trump’s Big Lie About “The Big Lie”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:20 am

[guest post by Dana]

As we know, the current Republican Party is a hot mess. As the once-grand political party continues to be mired in an ugly identity crisis, Donald Trump, who lost the election four months ago but still refuses to accept the loss, remains at the heart of the crisis. Two days ago he confirmed this by pushing his favorite Big Lie about “the big lie”:

“The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!”

Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump and continues to remain committed to speaking the truth about the election, publicly pushed back on his delusional nonsense:

Trump then released another statement targeting Cheney by calling her a “big-shot warmonger” and claiming that people in Wyoming “never liked her much.”

Because some members are frustrated with her refusal to back Trump’s Big Lie about “the big lie,” Cheney faces the possibility of being removed from her leadership position yet again:

Cheney’s outspoken criticism of Trump has led to some House Republicans to accuse her of dividing the conference and distracting from the party’s goals. Some have recently warned that Cheney could face a vote to oust her from her spot in the House Republican in leadership, although Cheney survived a similar test earlier this year.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has the power to call for that vote, but it’s unclear if he will do that as soon as next week, according to multiple House GOP sources.

But multiple Republican lawmakers and aides say that Cheney is on very shaky ground internally and whether she can hang on to her post in a secret-ballot election is highly uncertain.

Why a secret ballot? If they believe themselves to be in the right by voting her out, then let them make their stand publicly and on the record.

If the fact that Cheney’s refusal to lie for Donald Trump continues to be seen as divisive and distracting by a majority of House Republicans, then they continue to make it clear that the expectation for members is to publicly lie about Trump and his election loss. The problem isn’t Cheney or her statement. The problem is that Donald Trump continues to push a Big Lie about “the big lie”. Unfortunately, not only are Republicans willing to let Trump’s falsehood stand but they would rather circle their wagons around a proven liar than circle their wagons around a member committed to telling the truth, no matter the cost. This shames the entirety of the Republican Party.

If ever there was a time for a third party, it’s now. This especially as one hears what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, caught on a hot mic, really thinks about Cheney:


UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: But but but the problem is that Liz Cheney won’t stop talking about the election or January 6. She’s looking backward, not forward! We can’t have someone leading the Republican party who keeps talking about the past!

But that’s different!

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