In a ruling that could have a tremendous impact on millions of Americans, a federal judge in Washington D.C. on Wednesday ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its legal authority when it issued a nationwide eviction moratorium.
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich’s 20-page order says that the protection, first put in place during the coronavirus pandemic under the Trump administration and now set to run out on June 30, goes too far.
“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,” the order stated. “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.”
Landlords and property owners have consistently challenged the CDC order, arguing the policy sets an undue financial burden on business owners.
“We’ve argued from the beginning that the CDC lacked statutory authority to impose this, and we’ve had multiple courts agree with us on that,” said Luke Wake, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation who has represented landlords in similar cases. “Today’s decision again vindicates our argument.”