A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday rejected a request from a group of landlords to block the Biden administration’s renewed eviction moratorium, appearing to overrule The Supreme Court's ruling that the moratorium is unconstitutional.
As The Hill reports, the ruling by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, leaves intact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new freeze on evictions, which is set to run until early October.
Judge Friedrich said that she does not have the authority to halt the eviction ban, and any stop to the moratorium must come from a higher court.
In other words, she punted it up the chain of command...
To lift the stay, the plaintiffs must accordingly seek relief before the D.C. Circuit, which may depart from the law of the case when there is an “intervening change in controlling legal authority,” LaShawn A., 87 F.3d at 1393, or when a previous decision was “clearly erroneous and would work a manifest injustice,” Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800, 817 (1988) (citation omitted).
Though she made clear she thinks it's illegal.
"It is true that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in this case strongly suggests that the CDC is unlikely to succeed on the merits"
Full ruling below:
Interestingly, her decision to punt it comes a day after The Supreme Court struck down part of New York’s eviction ban on Thursday, leaving thousands of renters in the state at risk of being forced out of their homes.
The court’s order Thursday focused on the state’s policy of allowing tenants to self-attest that they’ve experienced a Covid-related hardship, rather than documenting the setback with evidence.
“This scheme violates the court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily ‘no man can be a judge in his own case,’” the majority wrote.
Five New York landlords and one landlords’ association brought the challenge against the ban.