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Appeals court ruling keeps CDC eviction moratorium in place

Housing advocates protest outside Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office Aug. 4 in New York. (Brittainy Newman/AP)

A federal appeals court on Friday declined to remove the national eviction moratorium, setting up a potential faceoff at the Supreme Court between landlords and the Biden administration.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected the request on behalf of a group of Alabama property owners to remove a stay on an earlier decision vacating the eviction moratorium established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in D.C. issued a 13-page opinion questioning the legal foundation of the policy, also declined to remove a stay on a May decision invalidating the moratorium while the Biden administration appealed.

The appeals court, which in June rejected a similar request, agreed with Friedrich’s ruling last week.

“In view of that decision and on the record before us, we likewise deny the emergency motion directed to this court,” the judges wrote in a brief order.

Last week, the Biden administration vowed to continue to fight for the policy, which was originally implemented by the Trump administration to keep Americans housed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration released a modified version of the order meant to protect tenants as the delta variant drives up coronavirus numbers.

Legal analysts and tenant’s rights advocates expect the case now to move to the Supreme Court, where the justices previously ruled 5-to-4 to keep a previous version of the moratorium in place.