Landlords turn to appellate court to block CDC’s latest eviction moratorium


After a district judge’s decision Friday allowed the moratorium to remain in place, the landlord groups filed a request Saturday evening asking the DC Circuit Court to reverse a June order, from an earlier phase in the litigation, that has let the moratorium continue.
According to the filing, the government has agreed to a quick briefing schedule, and the parties are asking for a ruling from the appellate court by Thursday. The court later Saturday evening approved the briefing schedule — under which the government will respond to the landlords’ request by Tuesday morning and the landlords will reply by Wednesday morning — but that is no guarantee that the appellate court will decide by Thursday.

In Friday’s filing, the landlords pointed to how the Supreme Court handled the moratorium when it reached the justices at an earlier stage in the litigation in June. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to let it continue, but Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the swing vote in favor of the moratorium, indicated at the time he would not uphold it if it was extended again past July 31.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s move in June, top Biden administration officials said the court was unlikely to uphold another extension of the moratorium. But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ultimately reissued a slightly narrower version of the moratorium in early August, as political pressure built on the administration in the face of congressional inaction.

“Confirming the point, every federal appellate judge to have considered the question since the Supreme Court’s order has either concluded or strongly suggested that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority,” the landlord groups said in Saturday’s filing.

After a judge allowed the Biden administration’s revised eviction moratorium to remain in place Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the Biden administration believed it was “a proper use of its lawful authority to protect the public health.”

“We are pleased that the district court left the moratorium in place, though we are aware that further proceedings in this case are likely,” Psaki said.

Psaki repeated the President’s call for state and local officials and judges to “issue local eviction moratoriums and move aggressively to distribute the $46.5 billion in emergency rental assistance funds” from Covid relief packages.



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