The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to lift the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on residential evictions, which expires at the end of next month.
The court voted 5-4 against lifting the ban put in place to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett said they would grant the application, which was requested by a group of landlords.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the justices who declined the application because he noted that the moratorium is set to expire in a few weeks, on July 31.
"In my view, clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31," Kavanaugh wrote in a concurring opinion.
The CDC announced last week that the moratorium, scheduled to expire this week, would be extended through July. The administration has indicated this would be the final extension.
It has prevented tenants who have been unable to make rental payments from being evicted since September.
About 7 million households are not currently caught up on rent payments, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which has raised concerns about a surge in evictions that may occur when the policy is lifted.
The group of landlords argued in their lawsuit that the provision shifted the financial burdens of the pandemic from the nation’s 40 million to 50 million renters to its 10 million landlords. They say it has resulted in an estimated $13 billion in unpaid rent per month.
The landlords also argued that the extension was unnecessary because individuals have been vaccinated and the public health threat from the virus has subsided, while arguing that the CDC exceeded its authority by implementing the nationwide moratorium on all residential properties.