Trump-Appointed Judge Leaves Biden Evictions Moratorium in Place
A federal judge on Friday left Joe Biden’s evictions moratorium in place when she refused landlords’ request to put it on hold.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, said her “hands are tied” by an appeals court that sits above her, although she ruled the moratorium is illegal.
Alabama landlords who are challenging the moratorium, which is set to expire Oct. 3, are likely to appeal her ruling.
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.
Earlier this month, the CDC announced a new 60-day moratorium on evictions.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky acted independently and signed the order a couple weeks ago.
‘This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads,’ Walensky said. ‘Such mass evictions and the attendant public health consequences would be very difficult to reverse.’
“This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2,” according to a statement, which adds that the moratorium “allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates.”
There are steep criminal penalties for landlords who break this order signed by Walensky.
– Potential $100,000 fine and 1 year in jail if eviction doesn’t result in death
– Up to $250,000 fine and 1 year in jail if evicted person dies