President Trump’s HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson appeared on the Fox News show “Fox & Friends First” on August 6 to comment on President Biden’s extension on the eviction moratorium initially enacted as a COVID-19 relief measure.
Dr. Carson said that Americans are not accustomed to the “heavy foot of government on their neck.” Unfortunately, the situation now sees the federal government “inserting itself into everything,” including the private contracts formed between landlords and renters, he continued.
Carson added that the moratorium was started when we had a very different situation than we do currently, including not having a vaccine. He observed that COVID is mainly under control now and that there are lots of jobs available. Carson said that the country should not want a permanent underclass of citizens dependent on the government.
In terms of legality, Carson stated that because the Supreme Court has already found that the executive branch lacks constitutional jurisdiction to prohibit residential evictions, we have “reached a stage that is very dangerous in our country.” He stated that if the administration accepts illegality but proceeds regardless, we would end up in a “place we don’t want to be.”
Carson stated that disregarding the Supreme Court is a dangerous precedent “moving toward a more aggressive totalitarian type government.” A few people in Cuba and Venezuela, he says, have described the moratorium as “déjà vu.”
He also stated that while most Americans want to encourage their officials to act aggressively to protect them, they will not benefit the country if they do not follow the Constitution.
USA Today published an editorial on August 5 stating that the moratorium extension is unconstitutional and President Biden knows it. The editorial conveys the same sentiment as Carson’s comments, saying that Congress should carefully review all executive actions to ensure no overbroad power grants have been made.
Because of comprehensive language in many laws dating back to the Great Depression, the executive brand can typically find some mysterious power hidden away in legislation that gives presidents room to go beyond anything that Congress might be able to enact.
Whether the Supreme Court or Congress steps in to deal with Ben Carson’s warnings will still need to be seen.