A federal judge Washington has struck down the nationwide eviction moratorium, leaving millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes two months earlier than expected.
Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that the Public Health Service Act does not give the CDC the authority to issue an eviction moratorium.
“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 20 page decision.
“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.”
The moratorium was first enacted as part of the first coronavirus the Cares Act and signed by then-President Donald Trump in March 2020. It expired in July and was followed by the order from the CDC in September. That order was initially set to expire at the end of January but was extended by President Joe Biden’s CDC director, Rochelle P. Walensky. It is unclear what will happen now.
Currently, nearly 20% of renters in America, or around 10 million people, are behind in their rent payments.
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