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In 1832, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling he vehemently disagreed with, President Andrew Jackson uttered this infamous phrase, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”
In 2021, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that the federal government’s eviction moratorium was unconstitutional, President Joe Biden channeled his inner Andrew Jackson in disavowing the Supreme Court’s ruling.
On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium, which was implemented during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is unconstitutional.
Specifically, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote, “I agree with the District Court and the applicants that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium.”
Kavanaugh added, “In my view, clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”
However, that did not stop President Biden from openly defying the nation’s highest court.
Even more disconcerting is that Biden appeared to admit that the Supreme Court’s decision was correct, and that he didn’t have the power to overrule a co-equal branch of government.
Here was Biden’s initial response after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling: “I’ve sought out constitutional scholars to determine what is the best possibility that would come from executive action, or the CDC’s judgment, what could they do that was most likely to pass muster, constitutionally. The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says that it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.”
In other words, Biden admitted that the vast majority of his constitutional experts told him that the CDC’s eviction moratorium was unconstitutional.
Yet, Biden’s stance did not sit well with the Squad.
Almost immediately after Biden admitted that his hands were tied, and that it was up to Congress to extend the eviction ban, the Squad went into full-on attack mode.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) camped out on the steps of the Capitol, calling for the Biden administration to extend the eviction moratorium, regardless of the Supreme Court ruling.
Bush put it succinctly, “I have absolute hope, and the thing is, the hope is in the people putting the pressure, saying, ‘No, we won’t allow this.”
So, a member of the House of Representatives, who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, has such disdain for the nation’s highest court that she vociferously advocated for the Court’s ruling to be ignored.
That, in and of itself, is reason to worry.
But, what is arguably much more worrisome is that Bush’s pressure campaign (she was joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) worked.
As the calls from leftists for the Biden administration to overrule the Supreme Court gained momentum, Biden kowtowed.
On August 3, Biden’s CDC director, Rochelle Walensky, declared, “Where we are right now with such high disease rates, we felt a new, tailored order [was needed] to make sure that… working Americans who were at risk of eviction could be stably housed during this really tenuous, challenging period of time.”
Put another way, Walensky and Biden basically told the Supreme Court, a la Andrew Jackson, “Brett Kavanaugh has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”
This development should send shivers down the spines of all Americans.
It is antithetical to the system of checks and balances that lies at the very core of our governing system. It also is a shot across the bow aimed directly at our cherished separation of powers.
If the executive branch can arbitrarily defy Supreme Court rulings, what is the point of the Supreme Court? Moreover, what is the point of Congress, if the executive branch, using the CDC of all departments, can now make laws?
This turn of events is also a direct blow to private property rights, a sacred element of the American experiment. Since when does the CDC have the power to tell landlords that they cannot collect rent?
Although most Americans are probably sympathetic to the notion that renters who were struggling to make ends meet during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic should be given some help, we are long past the depths of the pandemic.
The Biden administration has made it crystal clear: The Supreme Court can issue rulings, but we will not abide by those decisions. For those who believe in freedom and constitutional government, that is a chilling state of affairs.