CDC Eviction Moratorium Remains in Effect
Despite Flawed Texas Ruling
Last week a federal court in Texas ruled in Terkel v. CDC that the CDC Order on Evictions is unconstitutional. The ruling is a declaratory judgment and only applies to the plaintiffs in the case. 

As outlined by the statement from the Justice Department, the CDC moratorium is still in effect and the Terkel ruling only applies to the parties in that case. The CDC moratorium remains in effect for all other landlords and tenants. The Justice Department has appealed the case.

The judge's ruling holds that Congress has no authority under the commerce clause to make laws restricting evictions. This is a flawed and extreme view of the commerce clause. If the underlying reasoning for the commerce clause were to prevail in the courts, it would dramatically curtail the ability of the CDC and other federal agencies to respond to the pandemic (and future public health emergencies). The ruling is an outlier that conflicts with other federal court decisions concerning the CDC eviction moratorium (all of which have upheld the CDC action).

Even though the CDC eviction moratorium remains in effect, the ruling will undoubtedly encourage some landlords to file unlawful evictions. NHLP has drafted an initial memorandum to assist attorneys who are defending tenants in eviction court. 

Check out our updated COVID webpage for more information on the CDC order and other issues.

The National Housing Law Project is dedicated to advancing housing justice for poor people and communities. NHLP achieves this by strengthening and enforcing the rights of tenants, increasing housing opportunities for underserved communities, and preserving and expanding the nation’s supply of safe and affordable homes.
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