National eviction moratorium ruled unconstitutional, but remains in place

Texas judge issued no injunction, says he hopes CDC will withdraw ban

National /
Feb.February 26, 2021 12:48 PM
U.S. District Judge John Campbell Barker, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled the eviction moratorium to be unconstitutional. (Getty, Texas Attorney General)
U.S. District Judge John Campbell Barker, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled the eviction moratorium to be unconstitutional. (Getty, Texas Attorney General)

A federal judge in Texas ruled the nationwide eviction moratorium unconstitutional Thursday but issued no injunction, saying he hopes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will withdraw the ban. The agency is not expected to do so.

The result, for the moment, is no change for tenants — who, as of last month, were an estimated $57 billion behind on rent payments — or for landlords.

“The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium,” wrote U.S. District Judge John Campbell Barker, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. “The federal government has not claimed such a power at any point during our nation’s history until last year.”

But federal judges in other lawsuits against the moratorium have upheld it.

In September, two months before the presidential election, the CDC imposed the ban, calling it necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Evictions often lead to tenants living with relatives or in congregate shelters, although some states and localities have relocated homeless people to hotels during the pandemic.

The landlords who brought the Texas case are represented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Southeastern Legal Foundation. The CDC is expected to appeal.

Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden extended the nationwide moratorium through March.

Landlords have bristled at the federal and various statewide eviction bans, calling the threat of evictions necessary to get some tenants to pay rent. Some examples of tenants gaming the system have emerged.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Dan Yukelson and Mayor Sue Himmelrich (LinkedIn, Getty Images)
    Santa Monica puts rent control measure on November ballot
    Santa Monica puts rent control measure on November ballot
    Protests outside of City Hall and Councilmember John Lee (Andrew Asch, Councilmember John Lee, Illustration by Priyanka Modi for The Real Deal with Getty)
    LA City Council extends eviction moratorium
    LA City Council extends eviction moratorium
    Mayor Sue Himmelrich (City of Santa Monica, Getty)
    Santa Monica moving to tighten rent control rules
    Santa Monica moving to tighten rent control rules
    California governor Gavin Newsom and state senator Scott Wiener (Getty)
    Analysis: Report puts California housing shortage in national perspective
    Analysis: Report puts California housing shortage in national perspective
    IHP’s Jeff Enes with Glassell Park development (IHP Capital Partners, Comstock Homes)
    Glassell Park redevelopment to turn former church site into 37 homes
    Glassell Park redevelopment to turn former church site into 37 homes
    Senator Sydney Kamlager (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Apartment owners skeptical on plan for new affordable housing agency in LA
    Apartment owners skeptical on plan for new affordable housing agency in LA
    Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (47th Assembly District, iStock)
    Inland Empire industrial developers dodge a bullet — for now
    Inland Empire industrial developers dodge a bullet — for now
    Bruce’s Beach, LA County
    LA County returns Bruce’s Beach to descendants of Black owners
    LA County returns Bruce’s Beach to descendants of Black owners
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...