Former Legal Advisor to President Donald Trump, May Davis on Eviction Moratorium and Justice Kavanaugh

May Davis, Independent Women's Forum


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed May Davis, former legal advisor to President Donald Trump, and visiting fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum to the newsmakers line to discuss her recent op-ed regarding the eviction moratorium and the curious position of Justice Kavanaugh.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmakers line by our good friend, May Davis. Senior legal fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. Good morning, May.

Davis: Hi. Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Well, well, well – you must be just such a mean person, May, because you wrote this op-ed. You’re so mean. You’re so mean, May. As America Recovers, It’s Time to Pay Rent Again. How could you be so mean?

Davis: This policy is really for me, another reminder that liberal politicians don’t actually care about the least fortunate among us. If they did, they would want homeless people and for people to be somebody someday.

And that requires discipline, confidence, and achievement. But the eviction moratorium, which says, oh, no, you don’t have to pay rent. It just pays people and allows people to stay down forever.

It says, oh, who are you? You can’t pay rent. And this is the policy underlining so many freebies. But this is just something that we’re seeing. More and more. COVID assistance is one thing. I worked in the White House.

I was there for all these policies. There are going to be a couple of rough months. It’s going to hurt the economy but let’s just weather it the best we can.

Let’s make sure not everybody loses their home and let’s make sure not everybody loses their jobs. And then on the back end, you’ve got to go back to work. But here we are a year and a half later, and people can’t seem to wean themselves off.

Leahy: From your op-ed, you say earlier in August, the CDC’s COVID-induced eviction moratorium expired, meaning landlords would have once again been able to evict tenants who did not pay rent.

The CDC’s policy was imposed through executive action loan, and for a while appeared that the White House accepted the expiration after rulings in multiple courts.

But apparently, they’ve changed their mind. Where do we stand legally on that? I think I saw some court say, yeah, they can reimpose that eviction moratorium.  Where does it stand, now?

Davis: So there are actually some states where the eviction moratorium is illegal. I live in Ohio, and an Ohio federal judge said this is illegal. The Sixth Circuit also said this is illegal.

And then the Trump administration oftentimes, if one judge said something, they would then impose a nationwide injunction and we wouldn’t be able to do anything.

Conservative judges are much more conservative and haven’t gone that far. So the one case where there was going to be nationwide consequences was the D.C. Circuit, where the lowest court judge said, this is illegal.

She got overruled at the next stage at the appellate level. And then the Supreme Court said, yes, we agree this is illegal but we will let it stay in place while litigation runs its course. Why?

Because it’s expiring in July anyway. We don’t need to step in a few weeks earlier. And if the Supreme Court says we’re going to let it stay in place through July, and the Biden administration takes it on as a now we’re going to do it forever, that is so brazen.

If the Trump administration did it people would be up in arms. But what ended up happening is that the lower court judge got the case again with the landlord saying, hey, they look at the Supreme Court said, and can’t we get some relief here?

And the lower court judge said, actually, I think my hands are tied because what the actual ruling was is we’re going to let this stay in place during the course of litigation. And so we’ll let it stay in place for now. So there’s still going to be litigation on this. It’s far from done.

Leahy: I’m trying to understand the twists and turns on the Supreme Court decision. Was that a five-four decision on the Supreme Court, or was it just not accepted by the Supreme Court?

Davis: In order for the Supreme Court to jump in and give you an emergency stay from release, you would have needed five judges to side with you.

So they got only four judges to rule that not only is this probably illegal, which is kind of the reasoning underpinning why you would get some immediate relief. But we should list this thing right now.

Then you’ve got four judges saying, let’s lift it right now. Then you got four judges saying, actually, this is totally lawful, let’s keep it. So you have one Justice, Justice Kavanaugh, who sided with the let’s keep it.

But he just wrote a note, he wrote a concurrence saying, yeah, I think that we should keep it, but that’s because it’s expiring. And that represented a trust of the Biden administration.

He said I’m going to side with the let’s keep it but I’m going to write this note so you know what I’m thinking. But you cannot trust the Biden administration.

And so it was that one note that doesn’t have really the force of law. It was a comment on his thinking. But he didn’t actually rule with the four saying that we should strike this down right now.

Leahy: No, they didn’t really hear the case. They just said, are we going to take it or not? Do I have that right?

Davis: Yes. They can sometimes have oral arguments, and they definitely have a lot of briefing. This was not yet at the third stage. The third stage is kind of what you’re referring to is what’s going to be on our docket for next year.

And they get a bazillion petitions, and they only put a few. But there are very few things that they consider on an expedited basis. And in the Trump administration, we went up there all the time.

Can we fund the border wall? Can we do this? Can we do that? And those are sort of emergency petitions to the Supreme Court that are so important that they need basically an up or down ruling right now.

They don’t need all the flowery language, all of the briefing. But just can we get a quick decision because lives are at stake, huge government policies are at stake. And the Supreme Court will every once in a while do one of these quick, immediate rulings. And that’s what this was.

Leahy: What’s wrong with Brett Kavanaugh, and why did we Conservatives fight so hard to get him on the court?

Davis: One, he is a very smart person, a very smart justice. But being in D.C. for a very long time makes people care too much what other people think.

It used to be a collegial place where you want to be friends with moderates and Conservatives and Democrats, and you don’t want to be seen as a crazy partisan. And so there’s this D.C. mentality like I said.

Oh, I’m going to trust the Biden administration to let this expire in two weeks. But we don’t live in that D.C. anymore. We don’t live in that America anymore. And that’s unfortunate, but we just don’t.

And so I think that Supreme Court Justices from now on, for Conservatives have to represent fighters. People who know this is the world we live in. This is a big fight for the future of our country and there’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.

Leahy: I’m going to take that answer. Although you handle it very deafly. I’m going to take that answer as an indication that you agree with me and my disappointment in Brett Kavanaugh.

To me, he seems to be worried that the left is going to try to impeach him. So he’s making decisions that are sort of middle of the road.

May Davis, last question for you, where do you live in Ohio? We have a publication up there, The Ohio Star. Which major Metro area are you in?

Davis: I am in the great city of Cleveland, Ohio, which the census informs me, has lost population for the last seven decades. We’re not on a great streak, but it’s a great American city. (Chuckles)

Leahy: I had a great time up there when I was at the 2016 convention. May Davis, when we come up to Cleveland, come on in and we’ll have you in studio when we go up there for a program. Thanks so much for joining us, May.

Davis: Thank you.

Listen to the first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.













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