Federal Judge Rules Landlords Do Not Have To Provide Free Housing

A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority in issuing a nationwide eviction ban, according to a release.

The ruling is a victory for a group of Ohio landlords and the National Association of Home Builders, who challenged the moratorium in October.

The decision in Skyworks v. Centers for Disease Control “allows evictions to resume, restoring the landlords’ rights to remove tenants who don’t honor their lease obligation to pay rent,” according to the release from the Pacific Legal Foundation. (PLF). “This is a victory for the rule of law,” said Steve Simpson, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation – which represented the landlords – in the release.

“This decision makes clear that federal agencies can’t exercise power Congress has not given them. Now our clients no longer have to provide housing for free.”

President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Jan. 20 extending eviction ban protections for the country’s 44 million rental households until March 31.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Judge Philip Calabrese’s declaratory judgment held that the CDC lacks the statutory authority to promulgate the eviction ban, writing, “Without question, effective pandemic response depends on the judgment of reliable science—not political science. But that obvious truism does not empower agencies or their officials to exceed the mandate Congress gives them.

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