Lawyers Representing Landlords Ask Federal Judge to Strike Down Eviction Moratorium

Libby | August 5, 2021
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Lawyers representing a group of landlords and real estate companies asked that a federal judge strike down President Joe Biden’s unilateral action creating a new eviction moratorium.

The emergency application from the lawyers hoping to block the recent moratorium asserts that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and White House knew their executive action was unconstitutional but caved to “a tidal wave of political pressure.”

The application was filed with Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointed judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, CNN reported.

Even though the Biden administration expressed uncertainty that the CDC had the power to extend or issue another ban on evictions, they issued another — slightly narrower — executive action on Tuesday to ban evictions until Oct. 3 after the previous ban expired July 31.

And although the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rejected to block the first eviction moratorium by the CDC in late June, the constitutional grounding for another eviction moratorium was extremely shaky.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the 5-4 majority in the decision but wrote a concurring opinion in which he said, “clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”

Considering Kavanaugh signaled that the CDC does not have authority to issue another eviction moratorium, it is likely that the majority of the court will find the order doesn’t meet constitutional muster.

The previously mentioned pressure was applied by members of Congress after their attempt to extend the moratorium failed.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D- Calif.) tweeted in support of the CDC usurping lawmaking powers to ban evictions.

Waters did not go as far as Rep. Cori Bush (D- Mo.), however, as she camped out on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for hours to demand an eviction moratorium.

Despite these progressive cries to forgo the Constitution, SCOTUS may strike it down and leave them back where they started.