It’s a pretty righteous rant about the CDC director’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium, and who gave the CDC authority over landlords and the houing market? I agree with Tucker that this is an outrageous overreach, but I have a beef or two with how he’s arguing his case.. The first is that Tucker is presnting it his audience as if it were a new thing, some new form of tyranny that the Biden Administration thought up just now. But this is misleading. What Tucker is describing actually has a name, administrative law, and it’s been going on over a century, informally since the end of the 1900s, and formally with the passage of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) in 1946.
I don’t think this country’s founders ever envisioned regulations with the force of law being written (enacted) by unelected bureaucrats, but that’s the country we’re living in. This applies to any federal agency, but my favorite whipping boy is the EPA who can come in and designate all or part of your property as a “protected wetland” and too bad about your development plans you were counting on to bring in income for your retirement, but they’re now illegal. Or, worse, you need to spend many thousands of dollars to bring your “wetland” up to EPA specs, otherwise you’ll be subject to heavy fines.
Often with no appeal.
So what about due process? Congress enacted the APA specifically to establish fair administrative law procedures to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process. But I’ve heard enough horror stories to wonder how effective these protections are.
Second, despite Tucker’s protestations of the illegality of this, I’m not sure it will hold up in the long run. We’ve been living with administrative law for decades. Some Republicans have grumbled about it on and off, but, like any other federal program or agency, once it’s in place, it will never go away. It’s now a feature of the landscape. There is, for lack of a better word, “precedence” for this power grab. It’s outrageous that SCOTUS has already ruled against this but they’re going ahead with it anyway, but what the CDC director wants to do is only different in degree, not in kind, from what has gone before. The Biden administration is doing what it can get away with. As Tucker said, who is going to stop them? Mitch McConnell?
There’s a scene in the underappreciated science fiction movie Outland where the beleaguered Federal Marshall O’Neil (Sean Connery) appeals to the people he is trying to protect for help. “What about your men?” one of them asks. “My men?” responds O’Neil. “My men are shit.”
That’s pretty much how I feel about the Republican Party right now.