Federal Judge Rules CDC Eviction Moratorium Unconstitutional, DOJ Appeals
In late February, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas ruled that the CDC’s moratorium on evictions was unconstitutional. According to the Business Insider, U.S. District Judge John Barker said that the creation of such a moratorium criminalizes the use of state legal proceedings to vindicate property rights as well as the possibility that federal agencies could extend even further control over evictions. Indeed…
“The government’s argument would thus allow a nationwide eviction moratorium long after the COVID-19 pandemic ends,” he wrote. “The eviction remedy could be suspended at any time based on fairness as perceived by Congress or perhaps an agency official delegated that judgment. Such broad authority over state remedies begins to resemble, in operation, a prohibited federal police power….Although the COVID-19 pandemic persists, so does the Constitution…”
However, within two days of the ruling, the Biden Administration’s Justice Department announced it would appeal the decision. The AP is reporting that prosecutors said they disagreed with the judge’s ruling and said it only applied to parties in this case, not broadly across the nation.
“The CDC’s eviction moratorium, which Congress extended last December, protects many renters who cannot make their monthly payments due to job loss or health care expenses,” he said. “By preventing people from becoming homeless or having to move into more-crowded housing, the moratorium helps to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The moratorium is set to expire on March 31, 2021 although it is widely anticipated to be extended once again. In addition, we recently posted about two counties in the state of Georgia that were refusing to enforce the CDC’s eviction order.
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