Federal judge in Texas rules CDC eviction moratorium is unconstitutional

A group of Texas landlords and property owners sued the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services in October over the Eviction Moratorium Order that was issued by the Trump administration in September.

A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ruled that the federal moratorium on evictions is unconstitutional, according to court documents.US District Judge John Barker, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump to the court in the Eastern District of Texas, stopped short of issuing a preliminary injunction, but said he expected the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to respect his ruling and withdraw the moratorium.

“The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium.”

“Although the Covid-19 pandemic persists, he said, “so does the Constitution.”

Congress and the Biden administration had extended the moratorium to last through March.

Barker ruled that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to grant CDC the power to halt evictions nationwide, and said the agency’s order threatened to encroach on landlords’ rights under state law.