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Federal Judge Rules Eviction Moratorium is NOT Legal, but The Government followed my Advice

By Gregory S. Stanley, Esq.

In my 8 September 2020 article on the 4 September 2020 CDC Order I pointed out the CDC Moratorium on Evictions lacked Constitutional justification, was over-reaching by President Trump’s executive Branch and the CDC “Order” does not and cannot stop the filing of evictions.

I went on to point out that the CDC order against evictions could not be enforced by the CDC or the entire Executive branch of the U.S. government. Specifically, the Federal Government has no authority to direct the county sheriffs in any matter, nor to direct the state legislatures to pass comparable laws. Specifically, Constitutional Law prohibits the US Federal Government from compelling state officials to act on the Federal Government’s behalf, and the Federal Government cannot compel states to pass supporting legislation mirroring the Federal mandates. In short, the CDC’s “order” cannot be enforced by the Federal Government (outside of D.C.) and the Federal Government cannot legally require states to enforce it.

The order itself made a weak attempt to invoke “The Commerce Clause” of the Constitution, which is the Federal Legislature often relies on when they can find no other justification for creating nation-wide mandates. On 25 February 2021 a Federal judge found the CDC order was in fact unconstitutional and this judgment is persuasive for all the states. I expect this ruling will be appealed, but this ruling is correct and the CDC order is now effectively moot.

I pointed out in the previous article that The Executive does not have the authority to restrict citizens in this manner: The Executive’s role is clear in history and in the constitution, and such an order has no foundation, but it does have the ability to lobby Congress to award money to affected tenants.

The Federal Government followed this path and now the State of Alabama has made available the Emergency Rental Assistance program which starts March 1, 2021 at 8 a.m.

Both landlords and tenants can use the opportunity and the number to call is 1-833-620-2434.

Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama can help renters with:

- Utility payments back to March 13, 2020 Past due, current or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses.

- Rent past due since March 2020 as well as current and up to 3 months forward

No legal advice is given, these are my opinions, and Stanley & Associates, LLC can help landlords and tenants apply for these funds for a fee. Contact us at 205.451.4196

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