by J.D. Davidson
A Columbus-based think tank recently joined a Tennessee lawsuit calling for the end of the federal government’s eviction moratorium, saying the government lacks authority to rewrite private rental agreements.
The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in Tiger Lily v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which currently sits before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. A U.S. district court ruled in favor of landlords, saying the law does not authorize the eviction moratorium.
“The Buckeye Institute is asking the court of appeals to affirm the district court’s decision that Congress did not give Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority to rewrite millions of private rental agreements across the country,” Jay Carson, senior litigator at the Buckeye Institute said. “Further, while the CDC’s intentions in imposing the moratorium may have been good, the repercussions are that small landlords face difficulties paying their mortgages, taxes and for the upkeep on their properties, which studies show lead many to exit the market, leaving fewer housing options available.”
It’s the second amicus brief the Buckeye Institute filed in a similar suit. The first was filed in Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That case, which came out of Texas, is before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which also ruled in landlords’ favor.
In March, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled in favor of plaintiffs who challenged the moratorium, saying the CDC lacked the authority to issue the order.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed the current eviction moratorium, which is effective through June 30. Lawmakers approved the original eviction ban in the first COVID-19 relief legislation passed in March 2020.
A group of real estate agents asked the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month to block the CDC order after a district court ruled it unlawful. However, the court put that ruling on hold pending appeal, according to CNN.
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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Eviction notice” by Marco Verch Professional Photographer CC BY 2.0.