Federal judge leaves CDC evictions moratorium in place
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday refused landlords' request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold, though she ruled that the freeze is illegal.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said her “hands are tied” by an appellate decision from the last time courts considered the evictions moratorium in the spring.
Alabama landlords who are challenging the moratorium, which is set to expire Oct. 3, are likely to appeal her ruling.
In discussing the new moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of COVID-19, President Joe Biden acknowledged last week there were questions about its legality. But he said a court fight over the new order would buy time for the distribution of some of the $45 billion in rental assistance that has been approved but not yet used.
As of Aug. 2, roughly 3.5 million people in the United States said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
Friedrich, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, wrote that the CDC's new temporary ban on evictions is substantially similar to the version she ruled was illegal in May. At the time, Freidrich put her ruling on hold to allow the Biden administration to appeal.
This time, she said, she is bound to follow a ruling from the appeals court that sits above her, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The appeals court rejected the landlords' plea to enforce Friedrich's ruling and allow evictions to resume.
If the D.C. Circuit doesn't give the landlords what they want now, they are expected to seek Supreme Court involvement.
In late June, the high court refused by a 5-4 vote to allow evictions to resume. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, part of the slim majority, said...