In a ruling that could impact millions of struggling Americans, a Trump-appointed federal judge on Wednesday vacated an eviction moratorium issued by the CDC.
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich said that the protection, which was put in place during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, goes too far. The moratorium is set to expire on June 30.
“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,” Friedrich said. “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.”
The eviction does not affect state or local eviction freezes. The Biden administration plans to appeal the decision, according to The Washington Post.
Landlords, property owners and realtors, who’ve regularly challenged the CDC order, will most likely see the ruling as a victory.
“We’ve argued from the beginning that the CDC lacked statutory authority to impose this, and we’ve had multiple courts agree with us on that,” Luke Wake, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, told The Post. “Today’s decision again vindicates our argument.”
Diane Yentel, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told the Washington Post:
“The DOJ should immediately appeal and the Biden administration should continue to vigorously defend and enforce the moratorium, at least until emergency rental assistance provided by Congress reaches the renters who need it to remain stably housed.”