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Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:12 PM

Federal judge rules eviction moratorium is unconstitutional

Source: CNN

(CNN)A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ruled that the federal moratorium on evictions is unconstitutional, according to court documents.

US District Judge John Barker, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump to the court in the Eastern District of Texas, stopped short of issuing a preliminary injunction, but said he expected the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to respect his ruling and withdraw the moratorium.

The ruling comes after a group of Texas landlords and property owners sued the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services in October over the Eviction Moratorium Order that was issued by the Trump administration in September.

Read more: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/02/25/politics/judge-evictions-moratorium-unconstitutional/index.html



These Trump appointed judges are out of hand.

Another Trump appointed judge ruled Biden's deportation ban is unenforceable.



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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Federal judge rules eviction moratorium is unconstitutional (Original post)
orangecrush Feb 25 OP
yaesu Feb 25 #1
NYC Liberal Feb 25 #3
Amishman Feb 26 #20
DownriverDem Feb 26 #30
NotHardly Feb 26 #37
TomSlick Feb 25 #2
PSPS Feb 25 #4
TomSlick Feb 25 #6
cstanleytech Feb 26 #10
Hugh_Lebowski Feb 26 #14
cstanleytech Feb 26 #17
Hugh_Lebowski Feb 26 #18
cstanleytech Feb 26 #19
oldsoftie Feb 26 #23
cstanleytech Feb 26 #29
ripcord Feb 26 #31
cstanleytech Feb 26 #32
ripcord Feb 26 #33
cstanleytech Feb 26 #36
ripcord Feb 26 #38
mopinko Feb 26 #8
oldsoftie Feb 26 #24
Blasphemer Feb 26 #9
LovingA2andMI Feb 26 #13
Hugh_Lebowski Feb 26 #15
Amishman Feb 26 #21
Johnny2X2X Feb 26 #39
ripcord Feb 26 #41
Johnny2X2X Feb 26 #42
area51 Feb 25 #5
catrose Feb 26 #7
rdking647 Feb 26 #11
Sibelius Fan Feb 26 #12
Hugh_Lebowski Feb 26 #16
LymphocyteLover Feb 26 #28
oldsoftie Feb 26 #22
Escurumbele Feb 26 #25
bucolic_frolic Feb 26 #26
Dr. Strange Feb 26 #34
bucolic_frolic Feb 26 #35
TomSlick Feb 26 #40
LymphocyteLover Feb 26 #27

Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:25 PM

1. Biden should consider all Federal judges appointed by tRump as illegit and simply ignore

any decisions that get in the way of progressive ideals.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:35 PM

3. So a dictatorship. No thanks.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 06:58 AM

20. Agreed

Unconstitutional extreme partizan tactics like that are the absolute opposite of Joe's message of healing and coming back together

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Response to yaesu (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:17 AM

30. Don't think he could

These are all the Fed judges rammed through by the Federalist Society and signed by trump while folks were overwhelmed by trump's tweets. Will folks ever get it/

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Response to yaesu (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:13 PM

37. Just appeal it like any President can... simple

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:28 PM

2. I appreciate that this will be unpopular but I think the Judge is right.

I agree that a moratorium on evictions is good policy during the pandemic. The problem is who bears the cost.

The moratorium prevents property owners from enforcing their contractual right to collect rents and then allows tenants to occupy their property rent free. Private property is being taken for use as public housing, albeit temporarily. This is a violation of the "takings clause" of Fifth Amendment: "Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.Ē

If the federal government makes the reasonable policy decision that there should be no evictions during the pandemic, the government should pay the rent that tenants cannot.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:38 PM

4. This would all be moot if people were getting stipends like in every other developed country

They could then both feed themselves and pay their rent.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:45 PM

6. That would work.

The other option is for the government to make direct payments to property owners who are prevented from evicting tenants who cannot pay rent due to the pandemic.

All that is required is that individuals not be required to bear to costs of the moratorium.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:22 AM

10. Another option is instead of direct payments to the owners could be of offering tax credits

to them that they can use to offset their taxes.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 04:08 AM

14. That would be an option but how does it work if the renter has no income/job?

And how often would people receive these credits? I can't imagine 1 time per year at tax time would suffice.

Seems like a good idea but I'd think we'd optimally want a number of different options to cover different situations.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 04:22 AM

17. Well one option is to make use of the current unemployment system.

People file for it so if they were provided a voucher to give to the owner kind of like a check that they have to sign the owner could then turn it into the IRS to then receive the tax credit.
Of course to prevent a major issue for the revenue for the government that it needs to function the credit should be paid out over a 5 to 10 year period.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 04:53 AM

18. Oh, tax credit for the landlord, not the renter, gotcha ...

Yeah, that seems like a solid option.

Could be pretty tough on some landlords though ... if you've budgeted for $12000 in rental income in a year but instead you get $1200 for 10 years, that might be pretty brutal. Esp. for folks who rent out a place while they still have a mortgage, essentially paying the mortgage with the rent.

Somehow the property owners need to be paid back though, it's really not a fair situation currently.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 06:51 AM

19. Oh they would get more than that. The voucher would be for the rent plus interest on the amount for

time period due to the length of time it will have to be paid back.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 07:53 AM

23. A tax credit isnt going to pay my mortgage, taxes, insirance, repairs, salary, etc.

No.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 10:30 AM

29. Actually it can pay the mortgage and insurance can be included

in mortgages or at least it is with my brothers.
Repairs are of course another story as it unfortunately wonít help there but then neither would a hold on mortgage payments or foreclosures help with that.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:24 AM

31. What about people renting rooms or grany flats?

Many of these people rely on that money to survive from month to month to month now they have to pay the all the costs of having a renter while having their income drastically reduced, they need cash payments. Not all landlords are rich and cruel, some are just trying to get by.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:27 AM

32. Rooms or flats would fit into the credit option just

like renting a house would.
I know itís not a perfect solution but it is one that would help a lot of people because the governments money is not infinite and a credit option like this makes it easier for the government to afford it.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #32)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:31 AM

33. That wouldn't be fair

We can't just tell a grandmother trying to get by on Social Security and renting a room to suck up the costs associated with a renter and the lost income and wait until tax time, it is morally wrong.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #33)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:07 PM

36. Like I said it's not a perfect solution and there are

downsides but then there are downsides with every other option.
Giving cash outright for example increases the risk that the government will have to make cuts in other places to afford it right now.
Credits like I mentioned spreads the cost out so that it reduces the risk of such things having to be done.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #36)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:41 PM

38. The judge made the right ruling

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:06 AM

8. i agree w you.

not all landlords are greedy assholes. i have a few rental properties. they are my retirement.
some savings, ss, and rents.
the proper thing to do it to make sure tenants have the money to pay their rent.

property tax relief would be nice, too. i know those districts are getting slammed, too. they have suspended late fees here, but i have an empty 2 flat that i cant get ready to put back on the market cuz of the plague. i had a forbearance on my mortgage payments, but i want to refi, and there is another bldg that i already have a deal to buy. so i ended that.
but the taxes and utilities are a fair amount of money.

i've been just bleeding money here. trying to do the right thing. take care of my property, and make improvements when they are empty.
i'm in the middle here. lots of other ppl are. esp in a place like chi, where a 2 flat w an apt to rent is the retirement plan of many, many ppl.

you cant just wave a federal wand and tell ppl too bad about your money.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 07:54 AM

24. And these are REAL FACTS right here, folks. Thank you.

And good luck. I'm out some too.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:17 AM

9. I agree... it's clearly a regulatory taking under our laws

It's for these reason that I've told everyone in favor of rent freezes, "not so fast." I can't affirm the validity of this as I have not researched it myself, but a Canadian friend suggested that the law in Canada is different and there is more cost sharing in situations like this so both landlords and tenants need to give a little. Our law doesn't work that way.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 03:18 AM

13. Agreed...

And some Tenants are taking advantage of Small Property Owners losing their rights to evict. Housing is not free and there is a cost borne by someone (in most cases, it is their neighbors too).

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 04:09 AM

15. I agree as well (nt)

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 07:04 AM

21. Agreed, the impact on landlords probably is an infringement on their rights

As others mentioned the right way to do it would have been to subsidize payments for those who cannot make them due to covid.

While landlords can also get their mortgage payments deferred, (which just shifts the cash flow crunch to the banks and is another problem), it doesn't address their other expenses on the property (tax, utilities, maintenance, etc)

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 01:27 PM

39. Agree with this

I have neighbors who have rental properties for their income, they have had people in a couple of their properties stop paying rent 9 months ago and they've had no recourse. They literally sold their own home and moved into an apartment to raise cash so they can continue to make their payments on their properties. So they quite literally lost their own home because they weren't allowed to evict tenants who weren't paying rent.

I know a lot of people who have a 2nd home as rental income, they basically do it to build equity as part of their retirement plan, without rent coming in they cannot make the payments.

No one should be thrown out onto the street, but private property is private property and the government can't use it without compensating people.

And the one neighbor said that as soon as the moratorium began, one of his tenants stopped paying even though they didn't lose their job, just said he's not paying and has been squatting there since.

As is mentioned in this thread, an end on evictions isn't the answer, ensuring people have the money to pay rent is.

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #39)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 03:04 PM

41. This is common in our area

Many older people rent rooms to singles to cover what Social Security doesn't, now they not only have lost income but are having to cover their renters utilities. What do you think their chances are of them recovering all their back rents?

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Response to ripcord (Reply #41)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 03:24 PM

42. None

The courts don't even enforce their judgements for landlords too often. Unless you have a debt collection arm of a legal department to garnish wages or seize assets, a simple summary judgement will not get you paid.

Too often we paint with too broad a brush, especially during a crisis. A moratorium on evictions should have created a structure to evaluate each individual case. Some giant apartment complex evicting someone is different than some individual landlord who has 3 houses doing so.

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:42 PM

5. Damn it.


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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:00 AM

7. NO

The ABA, that bastion of not-progressives, declared so many of them not fit for office. Moscow Mitch's (I ain't never gone be no Secretary now) response was to stop asking the ABA's opinion.

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:26 AM

11. as much as i hate to say it the judge is right

unless the government is going to step in and pay the back rent the feds federal government cant just come and and prevent evictions. the constitution
the 5th amendment says that the government cant take property with out compensation and by preventing a landlord from evicting a non paying tenant thats what exactly what they are doing.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 03:17 AM

12. The real issue here is that neither tenants nor landlords caused the economic

hell in which they find themselves. That hell was caused by Donald tRump and his RW enablers, both inside and outside the government.

The Feds should be the ones paying for the disaster, not tenants or landlords. I donít care if it costs $10-trillion - the country needs to learn that this is the price a country pays when a disaster like tRump is put into office. Whether that comes in the form of direct payments to tenants or tax credit to landlords or a combination of both, the federal treasury needs to be opened and the money spent, the same way that money is spent when any bad decision is made by our government. A bridge built with federal $ collapses, the Feds spend the $ to rebuild and to settle lawsuits. Same principle here.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 04:20 AM

16. Yep. This one of those 'feel good' sorts of things folks on our side instinctively gravitate toward

Because we're nice people and we don't want to see our fellow citizens put out on the streets, thru little or no fault of their own. Esp. when it's poor folks suffering, and wealthier folks being forced to bear the costs.

Don't get me wrong, I, in fact, quite love this tendency we have

But it is, in fact, staggeringly unfair to the people who own the properties ... and by no means are all property owners greedy/filthy rich people.

MANY people who own rental properties in fact are senior citizens, and they're renting out the homes they paid off for half their lives. Many have planned for the rental income to sustain themselves on top of their SS.

It's really not right for the Feds to just unilaterally declare 'suck it up you're not getting your rent money, Grandma!'

I'm cool with the eviction moratoriums, but the Feds need to compensate the landlords. It's that simple.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 08:50 AM

28. "but the Feds need to compensate the landlords"-- yes agree

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 07:51 AM

22. I've found ways to get them out regardless of the rent status.

So far, the only ones I've had pull this no-payment stunt are people whose income NEVER changed during this entire pandemic.
I'd try to help out ones that were legit, but people are abusing this order left & right.
And when this is over, yes, they'll owe thousands. So they'll just pack up & leave. Good luck getting the cash after that.

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 08:19 AM

25. This is a very tough one if the government doesn't help the landlords to pay at least the HOA fees

Of course that my example has to do with properties that have HOA, if an owner owns a house there may be no HOA involved.

Is there any protection to property owners from HOA fees? I am not sure what the eviction law covers, but think about it. If a property owner owns three apartment buildings, each one rents for $1,200.00/month. Out of those $1,200.00 $350.00 go to pay HOA fees, and about $150.00 got into paying Insurance, Home Shield, Taxes, and if anything goes wrong in the unit having "Shield Insurance" you pay between $75.00 to $100.00 to bring someone to fix whatever broke.

Your cost is about $1,500.00/month and if you are not getting the rent then those $1,500.00/month are coming out of your pocket. The toughest part is that an HOA can place your property on foreclosure for missing three payments, and for those owners who depend on the rent to pay those fees that is a tough preposition if the government is not providing aid to them.

I understand that renters need a break because of the pandemic, I am not sure how property owners are being helped.

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 08:38 AM

26. "private property be taken for public use"

How is it being taken for public use? The government is not occupying it, and the government is not reaping a financial benefit from it. The general public other than the tenants gets no benefit other than preventing evictions and the chaos that results. The government here is regulating contracts between private entities. They do it all the time, and the courts enforce it.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:36 AM

34. The govenment is inserting itself into the contract in a fairly invasive way.

The government here is regulating contracts between private entities. They do it all the time, and the courts enforce it.

This typically involves the government saying that each party has to fulfill its part of the contract. On occasion that may require some "interpretation". But this situation is very different.

There's an unambiguous contract that spells out what the renter and tenants are responsible for. The government has inserted itself to say that the tenant no longer has to fulfill their requirements of the contract. (As a matter of public policy, this may be a completely good idea.) But as a result, the person who owns the rental property no longer has control over it. They are being prevented (by the government) from using it to earn rent. Even though they still have to pay for upkeep, taxes, etc. This is in every sense a "taking". The owner can't use it to make money, but still has to pay to maintain it.

The proper way to deal with this would be to have the government step in and say no evictions, but we'll pay the rent while there is a moratorium.

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Response to Dr. Strange (Reply #34)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:03 PM

35. Courts invalidate parts of contracts all the time

Government regulates business. Bankruptcy court. Regulations on interest rates. Repayment terms. Contract disagreements are settled in court. Rent regulations.

I'm not defending it, though I don't believe it's a "taking" because government is not seizing the property for its own use, and yes government should mitigate the impact on property owners. But I do believe student loan reduction is a giving to elites, and there's the government regulating and adjusting terms of contracts yet again.

If we had absolute property rights we would have no environmental regulation, no restriction on the terms of lending and borrowing, utility rates would be unregulated, phones could charge $10 a minute and no one could do anything about it. You see this all the time in monopolies. New innovative products command a high price because they have no competition. Tesla, anyone? 486 computers, 1992?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 02:44 PM

40. The issue is not regulation of business or contract. The issue is a property right.

The moratorium deprives property owners of their property rights. Far less onerous government actions have been found to be an unconstitutional taking. I cannot imagine any court not finding the moratorium to be a "taking" under the Fifth Amendment. I'm only surprised it has taken this long for a court to so rule.

The Constitution can be a pesky thing.

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 08:50 AM

27. worth noting that the moratorium was originally issued under the Trump admin

so this judge isn't exactly undoing something Biden did (Biden extended the moratorium)

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