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Politics A Texas judge has ruled the CDC's eviction moratorium during the pandemic is unconstitutional

05:46  26 february  2021
05:46  26 february  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

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(CNN) A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ruled that the federal moratorium on evictions is unconstitutional , according to court documents. In October, a group of Texas landlords and property owners sued the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and " The CDC attempted to use COVID-19 as an opportunity to grab power and the court rightfully corrected this egregious overreach," Robert Henneke, one of the lawyers in the case and general counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said in a statement. CNN has reached out to the

Nonpayment of Rent ( CDC Moratorium ): The broadest eviction ban is the order from the Center for Disease Control. The CDC order stops eviction for unpaid rent if you meet certain criteria and give a signed declaration to your landlord. You must submit this form to take advantage of the eviction ban. Statewide: Aid providers throughout the state are working hard to bring you helpful information relevant to COVID-19. Please see the articles below for more resources. Disability Rights Texas : Evictions in Texas During COVID-19 Pandemic .

a person standing in front of a building: The Maricopa County constable signs an eviction order on October 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. John Moore/Getty Images © John Moore/Getty Images The Maricopa County constable signs an eviction order on October 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. John Moore/Getty Images
  • A federal judge in Texas struck down the constitutionality of an eviction moratorium.
  • The moratorium aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 due to housing instability.
  • But several landlords argued that the moratorium violated their rights as property owners.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A federal judge in Texas ruled that an eviction moratorium put into place by the Centers for Disease Control and supported by former President Donald Trump is unconstitutional.

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According to the lawsuit, the CDC ’ s moratorium is a violation of their constitutional rights because the federal agency did not specify which law they based their authority to halt evictions on. “Agencies have no inherent power to make law, and nothing in the relevant statutes or regulations gives the CDC the power Another group of property owners in Tennessee filed their own lawsuit in federal court against the CDC . They are also arguing that the moratorium is unconstitutional and that by issuing it, the federal agency is preventing landlords from accessing due process with respect to their private property.

Judge Roy B. Ferguson of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas kindly addressed the cat in the virtual room, suggesting that attorney Rod Ponton adjust his Zoom settings. The mishap on Tuesday was posted by the court' s YouTube channel. "Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings," the judge said. A person who answered the phone at his office said the office was receiving a lot of calls. Virtual hearings have been a mainstay during the pandemic and it' s no different in Texas . Ferguson said Texas judges have held more than a million virtual hearings at this point.

US District Judge John Barker in the Eastern District of Texas said that the creation of such a moratorium "criminalizes the use of state legal proceedings to vindicate property rights."

In a 21-page summary judgment, Barker, a Trump appointee, said that the eviction moratorium left open the possibility that federal agencies could extend further control over eviction practices in the future.

"The government's argument would thus allow a nationwide eviction moratorium long after the COVID-19 pandemic ends," he wrote. "The eviction remedy could be suspended at any time based on fairness as perceived by Congress or perhaps an agency official delegated that judgment. Such broad authority over state remedies begins to resemble, in operation, a prohibited federal police power."

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“ Eviction ” means any action by a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action, to remove or cause the removal of a covered person from a residential property. But information about federal and state assistance programs is described below. Where does the Order apply? The Order applies only in states (including the District of Columbia), localities, territories, or tribal areas that do not have in place a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC ’ s Order.

The CDC order also said renters can "still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment." U. S . Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a U. S . House of Representatives panel earlier the measure was to ensure people "don't get thrown out of their rental homes." The bill has not been approved in the Senate. A spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden questioned why it took so long for Trump to back the moratorium and noted Biden backed the House proposal.


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"Although the COVID-19 pandemic persists, so does the Constitution," Barker wrote.

The CDC's moratorium was put into place last September and aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19 due to housing insecurity. In February, President Joe Biden extended the moratorium through March.

A census survey completed in the first two weeks of February found that nearly half of the 9,231,745 people surveyed said it was "somewhat likely" or "very likely" they would be evicted in the next two months.

The ruling is a victory for property owners who had argued that the moratorium interfered with their ability to run their businesses and was an abuse of government power.

"The CDC attempted to use COVID-19 as an opportunity to grab power, and the court rightfully corrected this egregious overreach," Robert Henneke, general counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told CNN in a statement.

The case will likely be appealed in the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, The Hill reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

DOJ files appeal of Trump-appointed judge's ruling on CDC eviction moratorium .
The Department of Justice has filed an appeal of a federal judge's decision this week that declared the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium unconstitutional. © John Moore/Getty Images PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 01: Maricopa County constable Darlene Martinez posts an eviction order for non-payment of rent on October 1, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Thousands of court-ordered evictions continue nationwide despite a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) moratorium for renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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