SCOTUS: Give Rochelle Walensky Something to Cry About

by Kerry Dougherty

It won’t be long before the U.S. Supreme Court smacks down CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s order that revived until October 3rd a glaringly unconstitutional eviction moratorium.

I can’t wait.

They’ll give the woman who was blubbering about her feelings of “impending doom” last winter something to cry about.

In fact, the judiciary is already flexing its muscles. After landlord groups submitted an emergency filing to block the moratorium in D.C. federal court, a judge demanded that the government respond by tonight at 9 p.m.

Putting aside the audacity of a U.S. president urging unelected bureaucrats to issue clearly unconstitutional orders, this entire impulse — to side with renters over landlords — is a leap toward Marxism.

That isn’t hyperbole. And it started with the Trump Administration. The difference is that earlier this summer, the Supreme Court signaled that the CDC was acting outside its authority.

So the Biden administration KNOWS this is illegal and pushed ahead anyway.

Ownership of private property is one of the foundations of our constitutional republic and when the government decides it can essentially negate leases and allow squatters to live rent-free in dwellings owned by others we’ve crossed into dangerous territory.

The media isn’t helping with headlines like this one from yesterday’s Virginian-Pilot:

Despite So-Called Eviction Bans Thousands of Virginians Have Been Forced Out of Their Homes During the Pandemic.

THEIR homes?

Let me fix that for you, Pilot:

Despite So-Called Eviction Bans Thousands of Virginians Have Been Forced Out Of The Homes They Rent From Someone Else.

Like many of you, I’ve been a renter. And I’ve been a homeowner. There is a big difference.

Renters sign leases that allow them to live in someone else’s home or apartment for a period of time and for a specified amount of rent due on an agreed upon day of the month.

In return, the landlord is expected to keep the place habitable, pay the taxes and insurance.

You know the drill. There are all sorts of obligations placed on both parties to a lease.

It’s a contract.

By what possible authority does an apparatchik like Rochelle Walensky have to tell tenants that because there is a virus on the loose, they no longer have to pay their rent and there’s nothing the landlord can do about it?

The owner of the property doesn’t get tax relief. Or insurance relief. Or mortgage relief.

Shoot, why did the CDC stop there? Shouldn’t renters also get free power? Gas? Internet? Cable TV?

Look, at the outset of the pandemic many workers lost their incomes because governors deemed their labor “nonessential.” Almost immediately the federal government began sending out stimulus checks and supplemental unemployment dollars. Now families earning less than $150,000 are getting generous monthly child tax credits from the government.

The economy is booming. Help Wanted signs are everywhere. What the heck are people spending their money on if not rent?

If the Biden administration is worried about people becoming homeless in a pandemic, let them set up free housing.

It’s wrong to force the private sector to do it.

Using a pandemic as an excuse to deprive property owners of their rights is cynical and wrong.

Look for the Supremes to set this right.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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61 responses to “SCOTUS: Give Rochelle Walensky Something to Cry About”

  1. vicnicholls Avatar

    “Shoot, why did the CDC stop there? Shouldn’t renters also get free power? Gas? Internet? Cable TV?”

    They are already getting free power thanks to the PIPP and the General Assembly. Jim Bacon, tell her she needs to be an active Rebellion reader.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Jim Bacon? Those have been my stories! Hey, Kerry, this is Biden. Plenty to blame Walensky for, but this one is on the White House. And do not for one second forget who was president when all this started. That would be that deeply committed free market conservative, Donald J. Trump.

      Yes, indeedy, Trumpenproletariat. When the history is written, it will note that even FDR didn’t authorize this kind of massive government destruction of property rights and gigantic wealth transfers, during a much deeper economic crisis. The first wave of COVID panic spending bills were signed by (even requested by) DJT.

      Can’t blame the voters for recognizing that if we are truly going to European socialism, they might as well put that set of pros in charge.

      Yep, time to do another story on the utility moratorium and payments. Got some fresh data from SCC….

      1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        Trump was never a “deeply committed” conservative. He did some good things and bad things and in the middle things but as far as I can tell, everything he did was ad hoc.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Ad hoc? Damned near pulled off a coup d’etat. Apparently, more planning than just Rudy and Sydney went into it too.

          1. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            “Damned near pulled off a coup d’etat”

            Umm yeah, that’s a big negative.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Fingers are moving, but I just can’t see what you’re typing…

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Yes, you can block and unblock as many times as you wish, even if all you do is unblock to throw down arrows. And, here’s the bonus, you don’t have to actually read your crap to vote it down. But, you know that.

          4. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            How juvenile, but I doubt anyone would expect different from you.

          5. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            That image indicates that you’re not being very forthright, there is in action in it that cannot be completed when you block someone.

          6. No he didn’t.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            you don’t think he was ?

          8. Do I think Trump was close to pulling off a coup d’etat?

            Absolutely not.

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            Do you think he was trying?

          10. See below (or above, depending upon how you sort the comments on your computer).

          11. LarrytheG Avatar

            same question. I’ve seen your other. same question. Simple but important question. Do YOU – THINK he was trying to do that?

          12. Okay, since you seem to have an inability to comprehend directions, I’ll answer your stupid question (for the second time):

            I honestly don’t know whether Donald Trump himself tried or not. I think some idiots might have thought they could affect something, but they were wrong about that from the get-go.

          13. LarrytheG Avatar

            Sometimes I get tangled up in Disqus , my apologies but I don’t think it is a ‘stupid” question to be honest and I’m surprised you have not yet determined what Trump did but that does help me better understand where you are coming from on some issues.

          14. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Try? Or damned near?

          15. LarrytheG Avatar

            the “denial” is amazing…. it’s truly an alternate world.

          16. Again with the mirror, Larry. You desperately need to obtain a mirror and carry it with you at all times.

          17. LarrytheG Avatar

            according to you? 😉 yepper….

          18. The damned near part. I honestly don’t know whether he tried or not. I think some idiots might have thought they could affect something, but they were wrong about that from the get-go.

      2. vicnicholls Avatar

        Sorry Stephen! You did also! I was thinking of a specific story. 🙂

      3. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” note that even FDR didn’t authorize this kind of massive government destruction of property rights and gigantic wealth transfers”

        that’s funny Steve. Did you never hear of the New Deal and the TVA , the creation of National Parks, etc?

        and on the utilities – they CAN take your land also!

        how socialist is that?

      4. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Don’t forget DeSantis’ attack on capitalism.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    So perhaps the question is, can the government take your property for a public purpose?

    There’s a phrase in there about “just compensation” but the government also decides that but it’s after they’ve booted you from your property, right?

    Heckfire – the government can even take it from one person and give to another:

    ” Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible “public use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”

    I would think that if the government can do that for economic development that public health would be a no brainer.

    and then this:

    “Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. The Court’s decision articulated the view that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state.”

    SCOTUS can and does change it’s mind but until they do, it sure looks like they can take your property for a public use. And if they change that and prohibit it – it will unwind a lot of things government can do right now from roads to pipelines to school sites, etc…

    1. tmtfairfax Avatar

      No, no, no. Many years ago, the State of Minnesota was building I-35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth. The RoW was planned to take some of the backend of my grandparents’ lake cabin property and split a nearby farmer’s land, affecting his lake access for his cows.

      The State made an offer to my grandparents, which they accepted. The State made an offer to the farmer, who rejected it as being too low. The State filed suit in state district court to condemn the property. A trial was held. My grandfather testified on behalf of the farmer. I got to watch.

      As I vaguely recall, the court found the value of the affected farm land to be higher than the State’s offer and awarded the state the land and the farmer the higher sum. Only after the land title was transferred and the money paid, did the State begin its construction work. And part of that work was a tunnel between the lake and the main part of the farm, which was part of the court’s condemnation order.

      The very same process would have been applicable had the condemnation been done by the Power Company.

      As to the merits of the eviction moratorium extension, it’s clearly unlawful as Biden does not have statutory authority to impose it based on the recent SCOTUS decision.

      Riddle me this; lawyers who argued for Trump’s baseless election claims were threatened with discipline. Shouldn’t the same apply to any lawyer, government or private, who argues for the validity of the eviction moratorium extension given the recent SCOTUS’ decision?

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        TMT – the point is the Govt CAN take your land and the only real argument is compensation.


        Can you name ANY circumstances where the Govt is prohibited from taking land no matter how much compensation?

        1. tmtfairfax Avatar

          The government must prove there is a need for the property for a specified public use and that the provisions of any state statutes are followed.

          The English law on eminent domain has its roots in the Magna Carta, which King John was forced to sign in 1215. There was always a battle over compensation, if any, when land was seized for a public purpose. These battles continued in the Colonial Days and caused the inclusion of the restrictions on the use of eminent domain in the Fifth Amendment.

          A quick and dirty search found several cases where courts have found the agency attempting to condemn land failed to show a valid public purpose for the condemnation and, thus, was not permitted to take the land. Here’s one. Redevelopment Authority of City of Wilkes-Barre v. Seeherman, 423 A.2d 466 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1980).

          Bonus question. Do we have to cancel American Colonial History since a mainly White population was ruled by a White government in London?

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            The govt really only has to say that it has determined there is a public need.

            Consider a road – the government does not need to “prove” the road is needed only that they think it is and that makes it a valid need.

            And imagine what it would take to actually “prove” “need” – Do we REALLY need an I-95 on the east coast?

            You’re going to let a judge decide that based on what criteria?

            When the govt tells you they “need” a piece of land , what exactly would you do to prove they don’t?

          2. Judges do decide it, Larry. Did you even look at the case tmtfairfax referenced?

          3. Brian Leeper Avatar
            Brian Leeper

            Why should he? It happened in Pennsylvania. This is Virginia. Things are different here, no?

        2. Brian Leeper Avatar
          Brian Leeper

          § 1-219.1. Limitations on eminent domain.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      We still have a death penalty. What’s a piece of property?

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        If you resorting to comparing eminent domain to the death penalty you’re better off not speaking.

    3. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      The “phrase in there about just compensation” is the issue.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        and it’s the government that decides what is just or not along with the courts AFTER they have legally and Constitutionally already taken your property. All you can litigate is the price – not the taking.

        1. You really don’t have any idea how eminent domain works, do you?

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            more than you nimrod.

          2. I’d wager it is you who are wrong on this one, “nimrod”.

            Have you ever negotiated the acquisition of easements or fee simple properties from private citizens on behalf of a government agency?

          3. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Eminent domain sucks, but at least you get a redress for it. A concept that appears to be foreign to some.

          4. It does suck. But I have found throughout my career that my own respect for private property rights has helped me be a better negotiator during easement/land acquisition. People can spot a phony “used car salesman” type negotiator a mile away. When the citizen knows that the person on the other side of the table genuinely cares about them and the loss of land they are getting ready to incur, it really does help beak the ice.

            Having to condemn property has been my least favorite part of the three professional positions I have held where it was part of my job. But sometimes it is a necessary part of maintaining and expanding public utility services for a community, so I have done it.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            And you’d not be doing that at all if the law did not allow you to.

            Whether or not it is”fair” or “sucks” is not the essential issue which is does the government and certain utilities and other – have the “right” to take land for a public purpose – and they do, it’s lawful and Constitutional.

            And as you say, it’s the government that determines if it is “necessary”, not individuals and citizens who have their own interests also.

            Every single road that you and I travel on was once an individual’s private property. Every powerline corridor was once owned by an individual.

            No, it’s not necessarily a “good” and beneficial thing for the individual who has to give up their property – but on balance in most cases it is “necessary”.

          6. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            If the process were a simple as some are stating, I-66 would be a 10 lane highway at this point.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            I understand how the law works on eminent domain. It’s not about what is “fair” in the minds of some but what the law is when the government determines it needs land for a public purpose.

      2. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        To their credit, the advocates for all this finally figured out that they had to make the landlords whole, or close to it. There is a ton of money (being drawn slowly) for rent reimbursement. But that is just as frightening for the precedent it sets. So not the abolition of private property (real communism), but very much a deeper government hold on everything.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          It’s been in the Constitution for quite some time and the courts have ruled many times that the government CAN take your property.

    4. The eviction moratorium is NOT a taking under the 5th amendment. In issuing the eviction moratorium, neither the Biden Administration, nor any executive branch agency has followed the required legal procedures for undertaking a taking of private land under the 5th Amendment .

    5. And if they change that and prohibit it – it will unwind a lot of things government can do right now from roads to pipelines to school sites, etc…

      Wrong. If SCOTUS goes back to the old (and clearly correct) definition of public use, it will not affect the government’s ability to build roads, pipelines or schools one iota.

  3. Publius Avatar

    Hey…let’s get the government to take Larry’s property and offer him 10 cents on the dollar. Then he’ll have to get a lawyer to sue over the condemnation for 1/3rd of the increased recovery. The government will then settle at FMV and Larry gets 70 cents on the dollar. OK with you, Larry?

    Rachelle Walensky cried that the CDC needed a satellite near DC because there are too many sane people in Georgia – all those deplorable types just don’t appreciate the greatness of their public “servants.”

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      It’s the law and the Constitution Publius, right?

      1. Publius Avatar

        Larry – I don’t approve of the government screwing people over…even you!
        You, however, seem to be a cheerleader for all government everywhere, all the time. Has the government ever over-stepped its authority in your eyes? Are there any proper limits on government’s power?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Every road you drive on was taken from a property owners. Whether or not he/she was “screwed over” is not something you really can know. All you really know is that the govt planned a road and felt the road was needed and then got the land to put it on.

          That’s not, in and of itself, “screwing people over”.

          Has the govt overstepped it’s authority?

          I’m sure they have but how exactly do you prove it – say for a road they want?

          Do you prove the road is not needed?

          or what?

          1. Publius Avatar

            Larry – what are you talking about? I approve of eminent domain as a general proposition. I don’t approve of screwing people over in eminent domain claims.
            Government power is something that needs to be restrained. It is a consuming fire as Washington said…

          2. Wouldn’t it have been easier for you to just post the word “no” twice?

            Also, the government “felt” a road was needed? It would be easy to get a judge to deny condemnation for that project..

          3. Brian Leeper Avatar
            Brian Leeper

            In many cases the landowners on either side of the road “felt” that it was needed, and donated their land for it.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            Some people do especially if the road benefits them. Roads often do benefit those who have land that abuts a new road.

            Back when Virginia was first settled – property owners actually vied to have new roads come to their land!

            Here’s some interesting (I think so) reading on the subject:


          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            When the government determines (felt) that there is a need for a road – judges typically do not second guess the government. That’s not the role of judges.

          6. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            My scorecard says Mr. Wayne wins today!

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Oh boo hoo.

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