Judge Says CDC Doesn’t Have Authority To Issue Eviction Moratorium

Judge Says CDC Doesn’t Have Authority To Issue Eviction Moratorium

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(CNN)A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday declared that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on eviction — a key element of the federal government’s efforts to aid those hit hardest by the Covid pandemic and its economic effects — must be set aside.

The ruling from Judge Dabney Friedrich says the Public Health Service Act does not give CDC the legal authority to impose the moratorium, which was first issued last year.

The current federal eviction moratorium was scheduled to end on June 30. It is unclear what will happen now. The Justice Department is appealing a similar ruling in Texas.

The CDC referred an inquiry for comment to the Justice Department.

“The Court recognizes that the Covid-19 pandemic is a serious public health crisis that has presented unprecedented challenges for public health officials and the nation as a whole. The pandemic has triggered difficult policy decisions that have had enormous real-world consequences. The nationwide eviction moratorium is one such decision,” Friedrich wrote in her 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,” she continued. “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.”

There have been several legal challenges to the CDC eviction moratorium. Some courts have said that the CDC has the authority to issue the order and rejected efforts to stop the ban, while others have ruled in favor of landlords. A federal judge in Ohio ruled that the CDC had overstepped its authority in issuing a nationwide eviction ban.

    Housing experts said they are still reviewing the decision and its implications, noting there are now conflicting rulings at the district court level, all of which have had limited impact.

    Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, called for the Justice Department to appeal.

    “The DOJ should immediately appeal the flawed ruling and the Biden administration should continue to vigorously defend and enforce the moratorium, at least until emergency rental assistance provided b

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