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 04:15 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
    Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman (Facebook via Weisman, Getty)
    Aventura votes to require HOAs to submit critical reports within 48 hours
    Aventura votes to require HOAs to submit critical reports within 48 hours
    Attorney General Merrick Garland, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra with Florida Realtors CEO Margy Grant (Getty, Linkedin)
    Florida Realtors organization sues CDC “landlord-in-chief” over eviction ban
    Florida Realtors organization sues CDC “landlord-in-chief” over eviction ban
    Brickell First building at 110 Southwest 12th Street (Google Maps, iStock)
    Woman killed during eviction at Brickell rental tower
    Woman killed during eviction at Brickell rental tower
    Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and 525 Meridian Avenue, one of the properties seeking to evict (Getty, Google Maps)
    Landlords, condo associations sue to end ban on eviction writs in Miami-Dade
    Landlords, condo associations sue to end ban on eviction writs in Miami-Dade
    Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (Getty, iStock)
    Miami-Dade resumes pre-pandemic evictions after unannounced February break
    Miami-Dade resumes pre-pandemic evictions after unannounced February break
    Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (Getty)
    Miami-Dade mayor launches $60M relief program for landlords
    Miami-Dade mayor launches $60M relief program for landlords
    Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez (Getty)
    Pre-pandemic evictions resume in Miami-Dade
    Pre-pandemic evictions resume in Miami-Dade
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida allows eviction moratorium to expire
    Florida allows eviction moratorium to expire
    arrow_forward_ios

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

    Loading...