Federal judge overturns CDC’s eviction moratorium

A federal judge on Wednesday vacated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s temporary federal eviction moratorium, which had been extended multiple times since being enacted by the Trump administration last fall.

Why it matters: The nationwide halt on most evictions due to the pandemic was seen as a temporary fix for millions of renters put at risk of losing their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The CDC under the Biden administration had sought to extend the eviction moratorium through June 30.
  • D.C. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled on the side of the plaintiffs, who alleged that the CDC overstepped its authority by extending the eviction moratorium — which was first included in the March CARES Act passed by Congress — to all residential properties nationwide.

What they’re saying: “The pandemic has triggered difficult policy decisions that have had enormous real-world consequences. The nationwide eviction moratorium is one such decision,” Friedrich writes in an opinion.

  • “It is the role of the political branches, and not the courts, to assess the merits of policy measures designed to combat the spread of disease, even during a global pandemic.”
  • “The question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium? It does not.”

Housing and Urban Development secretary Marcia Fudge said at a press conference Wednesday said that the Biden administration has targeted billions of dollars of vouchers for those at risk and for cities to invest in housing.

  • “We know we have put enough money in the system through the rescue plan that people should come out of this June 30th, at least current[ly], and so that in itself is going to allow us hopefully to keep people in their homes, as well as those people who actually have homes through FHA or through the federal government,” she said.

Between the lines: Some landlords were still sidestepping the CDC’s order to halt evictions by ousting tenants for minor violations instead of rent nonpayment, housing advocates told AP last fall.

Read the full opinion.

Source: Axios Breaking News

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