A federal court ruled to vacate a nationwide moratorium on evictions, which was put in place to protect renters during the pandemic.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2017, overturned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on evictions — a victory for landlords. The ruling places millions of people who have fallen behind on rent due to the COVID-19 crisis at risk of eviction.
President Joe Biden had previously extended the ban on evictions through June.
“The question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium? It does not,” Friedrich wrote in the ruling.
Housing advocates are urging the Department of Justice to appeal the decision. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
Evictions disproportionately affect people of color, especially women of color. Last month, over 11 million renters in the U.S. reported having “slight” or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s rent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.