Appeals court says CDC exceeded authority with eviction moratorium

The CDC imposed an eviction moratorium in September after one enacted by Congress expired. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

July 24 (UPI) — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority when it imposed a moratorium on evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously agreed that such a moratorium should come from elected officials, not the CDC.

The agency enacted the temporary eviction moratorium in September after one under the congressionally passed CARES Act expired in July 2020. The CDC action followed an executive order by former President Donald Trump on Aug. 8 directing the agency to investigate the issue of evictions amid the pandemic.

The moratorium sought to help Americans financially impacted by the pandemic stay in their homes and facilitate their ability to maintain social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

Regardless of the appellate court’s opinion, the CDC’s moratorium was set to expire July 31, so it’s unclear what practical effect the ruling will have.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against lifting the nationwide moratorium on evictions at the request of the Alabama Association of Realtors.

The realtors argued in their request that the moratorium shifted the pandemic’s financial burden from upwards of 40 million renters to the 11 million landlords in the nation, resulting in them losing more than $13 billion in unpaid rent a month.


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