CDC Eviction Moratorium: Lawsuit Filed Challenging Unconstitutional Agency Order - TPPF and SLF

Updated: Jan 20

UPDATE: (Nov. 20, 2020): Today, SLF along with co-counsel TPPF had the privilege to present our case to Judge Barker of the Eastern District of Texas. As we explained during the 2.5 hour hearing, the CDC's eviction moratorium is flatly unconstitutional - the CDC exercised a great and independent federal power not recognized under the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause. Simply stated, any connection between activities regulated under the eviction moratorium and interstate commerce is far too tenuous to pass any level of constitutional scrutiny.

UPDATE (Nov. 19, 2020): Less than one month after a group of property owners filed suit challenging the CDC's unlawful eviction moratorium, the federal court agrees to fast-track the case and hear oral argument on the morning of November 20th. Friday's hearing will center around whether the court will enjoin the CDC from enforcing its eviction moratorium - an order which will send thousands (if not tens of thousands) of landlords into foreclosure throughout the country.

SLF General Counsel Kim Hermann responded: "We are very pleased that the court is taking an interest in our case and granted our motion to expedite. We remain hopeful that the Court will agree that the CDC's nationwide eviction moratorium is not only an abuse of power, but an extreme constitutional overreach."

AUSTIN, TX (Oct. 23, 2020) – The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) jointly filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that violates the rights of property owners.

“The federal government cannot interfere with private property rights or our clients’ access to the courts to exercise their rights under state law,” said TPPF General Counsel Robert Henneke. “The CDC uses a facially absurd and twisted logic to suggest its intrusion into private property rights is a public health issue, which has inevitably and predictably allowed people to exploit the order. On behalf of our clients, we urge the federal judge to swiftly strike down this abusive overreach by the CDC.”

“The CDC nationwide eviction moratorium is an unconstitutional power grab, plain and simple,” said SLF General Counsel Kimberly Hermann. “The federal agency is using COVID-19 to grab power that Congress cannot even grant it. Intended or not, the CDC’s overreach will result in untold foreclosures and financial hardship to people who are simply trying to earn a living and pay their bills.  It is in times of crisis when our constitutional protections are most needed and most vulnerable, for they are what set us as Americans apart from the rest of the world.”

TPPF and SLF represent a coalition of residential landlords and property managers challenging the constitutionality of the CDC order as beyond federal Commerce Clause powers.

Mrs. Terkel, the lead plaintiff, inherited a modest four-plex rental house in Tyler, Texas, but was denied her legal rights under Texas state law to evict a non-paying tenant because of the CDC Order, who continues to reside unlawfully in Mrs. Terkel’s house. 

Key Case Documents:


Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Reply in support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Statement in support of Considering and Granting Summary Judgment

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