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IPFS News Link • Housing

Eviction Moratorium Ruled Unconstitutional, Largest Tsunami Of Evictions...

• by Michael Snyder

Ever since last summer, a federal moratorium on evictions has prevented landlords from evicting millions of tenants that are behind on their rent payments.  This moratorium has caused extreme financial distress for many landlords, but it has also kept us from witnessing millions upon millions of Americans being thrown out into the cold streets.  Of course this moratorium on evictions was never actually legal, and it was just a matter of time before it was challenged in front of a federal judge that still had respect for the U.S. Constitution.  On Thursday, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas named John Campbell Barker ruled that the federal moratorium is completely unconstitutional

J. Campbell Barker, a Trump-nominated judge in the Eastern District of Texas, issued the 21-page ruling Thursday in response to a lawsuit from a group of landlords and property managers.

"The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium," Barker wrote, noting that it did not do so during the Spanish Flu pandemic or during the Great Depression. "The federal government has not claimed such a power at any point during our nation's history until last year."

But Barker did not issue any sort of an injunction, and so the moratorium is still in effect for the moment.  In his ruling, Barker expressed his belief that the defendants will "respect the declaratory judgment" and will willingly withdraw the moratorium on their own…

The scope of the order is unclear. Barker wrote that given "defendants' representations to the court, it is 'anticipated that [defendants] would respect the declaratory judgment.'"

Federal officials could attempt to drag their feet, but the current moratorium is set to expire on March 31st anyway.


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