Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

The litigation remains ongoing against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC’s) fourth extension of the eviction moratorium, issued August 3, 2021, and effective through October 3, 2021.

On August 4th, a day after the CDC issued the extension, the Alabama and Georgia Associations of REALTORS®, who originally filed a lawsuit against the CDC in November 2020 on behalf of housing providers nationwide and supported by NAR, filed an emergency motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to seek enforcement of the June 29th U.S. Supreme Court Order that stated the CDC could not extend the moratorium beyond July 31st, without congressional authorization via new legislation.

The D.C. District Court held a hearing on this case on August 9th, and denied the plaintiff’s motion on August 13, 2021. As a result, plaintiffs are planning to appeal to the D.C. Circuit immediately and to the Supreme Court if necessary.  

Judge Dabney Friedrich of the D.C. District Court stated that the court “lacks the ‘power or authority’ to reach the opposite conclusion of the D.C. Circuit on the same issues, in the same emergency posture, and in the same case.” However, she also recognized that the Supreme Court and other federal appellate judges “call into the question the D.C. Circuit’s conclusion that the CDC is likely to succeed on the merits . . . [and] absent the D.C. Circuit’s judgement, this Court would vacate the stay.”  

Earlier this year, on May 5, 2021, the D.C. District Court initially struck down the CDC’s nationwide eviction ban, concluding the moratorium exceeded the limits Congress placed on the CDC’s authority, but issued a stay that kept the moratorium in place pending the government’s appeal. The Georgia and Alabama Association of REALTORS®’ lawsuit had asked the D.C. Circuit Court to lift the stay, which was denied, prompting the appeal to the Supreme Court, which upheld the stay on June 29. However, in that June order, five justices agreed the CDC lacked the authority to implement a nationwide eviction moratorium but kept the ban in place to allow for more distribution of rental assistance.

Stay tuned, and visit nar.realtor/rental-assistance for additional updates.