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Federal judge vacates CDC's eviction moratorium, but the DOJ has filed notice of appeal

CDC’s eviction moratorium protects many tenants who during the pandemic cannot pay rent due to job loss, medical expenses.

Updated: May 5, 2021 - 9:12pm

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The Justice Department is challenging a federal judge's move to vacate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's pandemic-related eviction moratorium.

"The question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium? It does not," D.C. District Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote Wednesday.

In an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, amid its related high unemployment, the CDC's eviction moratorium order shielded some individuals from getting evicted.

"The department has already filed a notice of appeal of the decision and intends to seek an emergency stay of the order pending appeal," acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Division Brian M. Boynton said in a statement.

"The CDC’s eviction moratorium – which Congress extended last December and the CDC later extended through June 30, 2021 – protects many renters who cannot make their monthly payments due to job loss or health care expenses," Boynton said. "Scientific evidence shows that evictions exacerbate the spread of COVID-19, which has already killed more than half a million Americans, and the harm to the public that would result from unchecked evictions cannot be undone."

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