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Federal Judge Strikes Down CDC’s COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium

By Zachary Kessler, Amanda G. Halter along with Adam Weaver

A federal judge in Texas has declared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium unconstitutional, holding that Article I’s ability to regulate interstate commerce and enact laws necessary and appropriate for such regulation doesn’t include the capacity to suspend residential evictions on a national foundation. While the court stopped short of devoting immediate injunctive relief, rather relying on the CDC to”respect the declaratory judgment” and draw the Order, the court said that such relief would be available if the government doesn’t obey the decision. With this ruling, the most important prohibition on residential evictions for nonpayment of rent is likely to be raised, and many residential evictions halted or delayed under the Order may start in earnest. While further tenant protections remain in certain locales, this federal ruling raises the probable rate and rate of residential flooding activity across the country.
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