An Ohio county will ignore the federal government’s legally questionably eviction moratorium and soon begin the process of removing non-paying tenants from homes and apartments owned by taxpaying Americans.
The Franklin County Municipal Court has decided to ignore the newly issued moratorium, and cited a prior federal appeals court decision for doing so.
The Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled last month that unelected officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the property authority last year to tell private landowners — via a nationwide edict — who can stay in their buildings without paying.
“Ten months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed an eviction moratorium on rental properties across the country. It found authority for its unprecedented action in a provision of the Public Health Service Act of 1944,” Circuit Judge John K. Bush wrote.
“Plaintiffs sued, arguing that the provision does not grant the CDC the sweeping authority it claims. The district court found in their favor and granted them declaratory relief,” Bush added.
The court concluded that the Public Health Service Act of 1944 did not grant a body of bureaucrats the authority to intervene between landlords and tenants.
According to WSYX-TV, three Franklin County Municipal Court judges unanimously decided this week that the new eviction moratorium cannot be enforced, as it is illegal.
“It is not our job as judges to make legislative rules that favor one side or another. But nor should it be the job of bureaucrats embedded in the executive branch,” Judge Amul Thapar wrote. “While landlords and tenants likely disagree on much, there is one thing both deserve: for their problems to be resolved by their elected representatives.”
In a news release, the Franklin County Municipal Court explained its decision further.
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“CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed a new eviction moratorium order on August 3, 2021 to temporarily halt evictions in counties with ‘substantial and high levels’ of COVID-19 virus transmissions until October 3, 2021. The previous CDC eviction moratorium expired on July 31, 2021,” the release said.
“However, on July 23rd the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that the CDC lacked authority for the national moratorium it imposed last year on most residential evictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus,” the release added. “The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling in March finding the CDC overstepped its authority when it issued the moratorium last year. The result is that Courts in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan are no longer bound by the moratorium.”
The municipal court concluded it is “legally required to follow that Court’s decision and will accept and process eviction filings.”
“The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated,” Walensky said Tuesday in a news release announcing a targeted halting of evictions. “This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads.”
The Biden administration initially acknowledged that it lacked the authority to issue another moratorium.
But it ended up issuing one anyway.
The eviction moratorium has left legal experts debating this week over a previous Supreme Court ruling about the last moratorium and the legality of the current one.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the new moratorium is not as broad as the previous one, and that President Joe Biden was confident it had merit, even though critics said it was issued over political pressure from the far left.
“I think what’s important to note here is that the president would not have moved forward with a step where he didn’t feel comfortable and confident in the legal justification,” she said at her daily media briefing. “But he asked the CDC and his legal experts to look at what is possible. This is a narrow, targeted moratorium that is different from the national moratorium. It’s not an extension of that.”
“The White House seems to be putting the tactical on the same level as the constitutional in this move. President Biden acknowledged that he was told by most legal experts that this is unconstitutional,” Turley said.
“President Biden took an oath on January 20th to uphold the Constitution. Period. It did not have an option to disregard the Constitution when politically expedient,” he added.