July 23 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not have the authority for the national moratorium it imposed last year on most residential evictions for help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The 6th U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in Cincinnati means judges in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan are no longer bound by the moratorium, said Joshua Kahane, the lawyer who pleaded the case of a property manager.
The unanimous decision of the three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling in March, concluding that the CDC overstepped its authority when it imposed the moratorium last year.
The opinion of Justices Alan Norris, Amul Thapar and John Bush said the management of evictions during the pandemic could not be delegated to the CDC under current law.
“While landlords and tenants probably disagree on a lot of things, there is one thing they both deserve: to have their issues resolved by their elected representatives,” Justice Thapar wrote in a concurring opinion.
The moratorium is due to expire on July 31, and the Biden administration said in June it would not grant further extensions.
The CDC issued a nationwide ban on evicting all residential rental properties in September to facilitate self-isolation, contain the spread of COVID-19 and prevent homelessness.
He acted after the expiration of a previous stricter ban enacted by the US Congress. The CDC’s moratorium has been extended three times, once by Congress and twice by the agency itself.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court left the CDC’s ban in place with a 5-4 ruling.
Congress also approved $ 46.5 billion in rental assistance designed to reach homeowners, but the aid has been slow to flow. (Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; editing by Andrea Ricci)