On Wednesday, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Dabney Friedrich invalidated a national eviction moratorium. The measure was enacted by Congress in March 2020 as part of the CARES Act and then extended by President Biden until June 30, 2021.
Lawmakers wanted those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic to not face eviction for not paying their bills. In order to pass the moratorium, lawmakers cited “the Public Health Service Act of 1944, which grants the federal government the authority to impose quarantines and other measures to handle health emergencies, as justification for the provision” reports National Review.
Judge Friedrich, however, threw out the measure after finding the COVID-19 pandemic policy exceeded the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The question for the court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the C.D.C. the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium?” he questioned in the 20-page decision. “It does not.”
The 120-day moratorium was passed by Congress on evictions from rental properties participating in federal assistance programs or underwritten by federal loans. Since, “Trump extended the moratorium in an executive order in August, saying that evictions threatened to spread the virus by forcing families to stay in shelters or to double up in overcrowded housing situations” reports National Review.
Many landlord and real estate groups across the country have filed lawsuits because the burden of payments went “from the tenants to landlords and that landlords across the nation stand to lose billions collectively if the ban is extended into 2021” claimed a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Association of Realtors and a group of real estate agents.