That's just a snippet of the judge's 20-page ruling, which was made public just hours ago. In the text, Friedrich also acknowledged the severity of the pandemic and the policy changes it has necessitated: "The Court recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious public health crisis that has presented unprecedented challenges for public health officials and the nation as a whole. The pandemic has triggered difficult policy decisions that have enormous real-world consequences. The nationwide eviction moratorium is one such decision."
Friedrich's decision isn't the first time a judge has attempted to shoot down the CDC's measure. In February, U.S. District Judge John Barker ruled that the ban was a constitutional violation. The Department of Justice appealed that decision, and the case is still ongoing.
The key difference between Friedrich's ruling and that of past cases is scope. Previously, judges have ruled only to vacate the order for the plaintiffs involved. In today's ruling, however, Friedrich indicated she intends her decision to be sweeping, saying: "The Department urges the Court to limit any vacatur order to the plaintiffs with standing before this Court. This position is at odds with settled precedent."
As with the case in Texas, the Department of Justice has filed an appeal against today's decision. In the meantime, housing advocates are urging the administration to continue enforcing the CDC's moratorium.
"The DOJ should immediately appeal the flawed ruling & Biden admin should continue to vigorously defend and enforce the moratorium, at least until emergency rental assistance provided by Congress reaches the renters who need it to remain stably housed," tweeted Diane Yentel, the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "[The National Association of Realtors] continues push to evict during pandemic, just as $46B in rental assistance starts reaching renters & landlords. Infuriating."
To be fair, the CDC's eviction ban isn't the only one protecting tenants who are struggling. Many states and municipal governments have eviction bands in place, and today's decision -- which only pertains to the CDC measure -- should not affect those.
This story is still developing, so stay tuned for more updates on this story and its impact on rental properties.