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Judge Puts Hold On Ruling That Would Have Ended Ban On Evictions

A federal judge recently moved to end a nationwide eviction moratorium put into place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of the coronavirus outbreak. But Friday, with nearly 7 million households still behind on rent, the same judge has put a hold on her order.

On May 5, U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich sided with the Alabama Association of Realtors, which argued the CDC doesn't have the authority to prevent landlords from evicting tenants during a pandemic. However, Friedrich is giving the Justice Department time to appeal, and is holding the ban in place in the meantime.

In her stay of the original ruling, she said if the CDC's data-driven moratorium is lifted, "as many as 433,000 cases of COVID-19 and thousands of deaths could be attributed to the lifting of the state-based eviction."

Friedrich acknowledged that landlords continue to struggle with unpaid rent, but said "the magnitude of these additional financial losses is outweighed by the department's weighty interest in protecting the public."

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Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.