The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Biden administration's temporary eviction moratorium in a 6-3 decision late Thursday.
Millions of people who haven't paid rent since March 2020 face the risk of losing their homes following the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision.
The SCOTUS ruled that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did not have the legal authority to impose a temporary ban on evictions.
The Supreme Court wrote:
"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."
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The Supreme Court ruling ends protections for 3.5 million people that was originally scheduled to expire in early October.
More than 400,000 renters in the Atlanta area are behind on their rent.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement:
"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.
"As a result of this ruling, families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19."
Conservatives said the ruling "ends an unlawful policy" that "restores property rights in America."
The reaction from liberals was swift. Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Mo.) lashed out at the SCOTUS's decision, saying "Congress must act immediately to prevent mass evictions."
"This is cruel and wrong," tweeted Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).
"If the public health crisis hasn't ended, then the relief to survive it shouldn't either. We must immediately do everything possible to keep people in their homes. This is a matter of life and death."
And New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the SCOTUS Justices "A group of right wing extremists" who "just decided to throw families out of their homes during a global pandemic."
Congress previously approved $46.5 billion in emergency rental assistance, but only $5.1 billion has been paid out so far.