By Jake Kaplan

Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:

All eyes have been on the Middle East as the Taliban solidified control over Afghanistan.

  • Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul fell into chaos over the weekend as the Taliban seized control. The Taliban’s takeover came after the government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. 
  • Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul plunged into turmoil as Afghan civilians rushed the runways hoping to board U.S. military planes departing the country. Now, the U.S. Air Force is reportedly launching an investigation into Afghan civilian deaths that occurred during the chaos at the airport, including the deaths of people who fell from a U.S. military plane, which was captured in now-viral videos. At least seven people were killed.
  • On Monday, President Biden addressed the nation. While Biden called the military withdrawal “messy,” he defended his decision to leave Afghanistan, and he blamed the country’s military and political leaders for Afghanistan’s fall. “If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision,” Biden said. Biden has now committed to leaving U.S. troops in Afghanistan until all Americans are evacuated — even beyond the August 31st withdrawal deadline. 
  • On this week’s CAFE Insider, Preet spoke with NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel, who is reporting from the ground in Afghanistan.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, there has been a national conversation surrounding eviction moratoriums.

  • Last year, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order barring evictions. That moratorium was extended multiple times until it expired at the end of July. 
  • Earlier this month, the CDC issued a new order “temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission” of COVID-19. The order is scheduled to remain in effect until October 3rd.
  • The new moratorium’s legal fate, however, is not clear. In June, the Supreme Court left in place the earlier moratorium on the condition that it was set to expire in July. In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who voted to uphold the moratorium at the time, explained that despite his vote in the case, he felt that the CDC generally lacked authority to issue the moratorium. Given Kavanaugh’s stated position, the  Court’s conservative bloc is expected to strike down the new moratorium if a challenge comes before the Court.
  • Meanwhile, the Court recently struck down a section of New York’s eviction moratorium. While the Court largely kept the legislation intact, it blocked a provision of the law that prohibited evicting tenants who claimed to suffer financial hardship due to the pandemic. Tenants will now have to present evidence in court in order to prevent eviction.