Wed, 14 Apr 2021

TYLER, Texas: A federal judge on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional regulations preventing landlords from evicting residential tenants.

The regulations had been put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The case, brought by a group of landlords and property owners, saw U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker in Tyler, Texas, rule against the CDC, noting that it had exceeded its authority under the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"The court concludes that the federal government's Article I power to regulate interstate commerce and enact laws necessary and proper to that end does not include the power to impose the challenged eviction moratorium," Barker wrote.

The U.S. Justice Department has not commented on the ruling, and it is not known whether the CDC would continue to enforce the moratorium on evictions, should the case be appealed.

Similar cases brought before federal judges have been unsuccessful in overturning the eviction prohibition.

The CDC order preventing evictions had temporarily halted eviction proceedings for millions of tenants.

The lawsuit claimed that landlords were deprived of their property rights.

"The court's order today holding the CDC's interference with private property rights under the veil of COVID-19 serves as notice to the Biden administration that the Constitution limits government power," said Kimberly Hermann, general counsel for the Southeastern Legal Foundation.

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