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Source & Scope of Public Health Legal Powers

Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al.

Overview

Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al. (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, May 5, 2021): The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a nationwide injunction preventing enforcement of the eviction moratorium because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its authority when issuing the moratorium designed to protect renters facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Public Health Service Act (PHSA) authorizes CDC to combat the spread of disease through a range of measures. As broad as those powers are, however, the court found the eviction moratorium to be outside the boundaries of the PHSA, concluding that the government’s interpretation of the PHSA would grant “nearly unlimited” power to CDC, which Congress did not intend. State or local eviction moratoriums are not impacted by the ruling. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an appeal and secured a stay of the injunction. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2021.

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