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Activists hold a protest against evictions near City Hall on August 11, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

The Supreme Court blocked President Biden's moratorium on evictions in a 6-3 ruling on Thursday.

Why it matters: Roughly 3.5 million people across the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, per Census Bureau data from mid-August.

State of play: The court previously ruled that the administration couldn’t extend the ban, instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic, past July 31 without explicit congressional authorization. But after protests and a clash with Democratic lawmakers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the temporary ban through Oct. 3.

  • The case reached the Supreme Court after the Alabama Association of Realtors and other plaintiffs sued the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.

What they're saying: "It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken," the unsigned Supreme Court opinion read. "But that has not happened."

  • "Instead, 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."
  • "It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts," the opinion noted.

"The Biden Administration is 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," press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday evening.

  • "[F]amilies will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19," she said, reiterating Biden's plea for cities and states to "urgently act to prevent evictions."

The big picture: Biden had urged Congress to extend the moratorium ahead of the July 31 deadline.

  • House Democrats, however, argued the CDC should extend the moratorium even if it was overruled so states have more time to disperse money to renters and landlords while Congress found another solution.
  • The CDC extended the ban on Aug. 3 after Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and other progressives protested outside the U.S. Capitol.

Go deeper

Dec 4, 2021 - Health

Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine to a child at a Salvation Army vaccination clinic in Philadelphia on Nov. 12. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer could have data on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy for children under five by the end of the year, CEO Albert Bourla said on Friday in an interview with NBC News.

Why it matters: Omicron has raised concerns that young children are becoming more vulnerable to the virus. Tshwane, the epicenter of South Africa's Omicron outbreak, has seen a high number of hospital admissions for children under two in the last few weeks, though scientists have not confirmed a link to the variant, Reuters reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.