The U.S. Justice Department said it will appeal a federal court judge’s decision to vacate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) power to overturn evictions.
The agency had sought to extend its moratorium through June 30 to protect renters impacted by the coronavirus lockdowns but U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled on May 5 the CDC overstepped its authority.
“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,” Friedrich ruled. “It does not.”
The CDC averted the normal rule-making practice that federal agencies must follow when enacting rules of large magnitude. A group of Ohio landlords challenged the decision, and in a declaratory Judge Philip Calabrese held that the CDC lacked statutory authority to promulgate the eviction ban. In another case involving rental housing in Tyler, Texas, the U.S. Court for the Eastern District Court of Texas ruled the CDC’s moratorium order is unconstitutional.