A federal judge in Texas ruled Thursday that an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) temporarily halting evictions amid the pandemic is unconstitutional.
in a 21 page ruleFederal District Judge John Barker sided with a group of property owners and managers who argued in a lawsuit that the CDC’s moratorium on eviction exceeded the constitutional authority of the federal government.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic persists, so does the Constitution,” Trump-appointed Barker wrote.
The CDC order, initially issued by ex President TrumpDonald Trump Senators were not given a timeline for removal of the National Guard near Capitol Democratic fury with the Republican Party erupts in Georgia House of Representatives Secretary of state withholds support for Georgia bills Republican ‘reactionary’ vote In September, property owners generally made it a crime to evict tenants who couldn’t pay their rent and had no affordable housing options.
Those protections were extended by Congress and then under President BidenJoe BidenKlain on Manchin’s objection to Neera Tanden: He ‘doesn’t answer us at the White House.’ Senators Without a Schedule for Removal of the National Guard, Capitol Fence Defense Overnight: New Senate Armed Forces Chairman Speaks on Pentagon Political Candidate Afghanistan More | Biden reads report on Khashoggi’s murder | Austin Emphasizes Vaccine Safety In New Video MORE to last until March.
But in Thursday’s decision, Barker ruled that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to give CDC the power to stop evictions across the country, and said the agency’s order threatened to encroach on homeowners’ rights under state law.
Conservative groups involved in the litigation praised the decision.
“The court order today upholding the CDC’s interference with private property rights under the veil of COVID-19 serves as a warning to the Biden administration that the Constitution limits the power of government,” said Kimberly Hermann, attorney for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, one of the groups that represented the plaintiffs.
Lawyers for the Justice Department who defended the federal government in the case did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Legal experts hope the case will be appealed to the Texas-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Updated at 7:21 pm