PRESS RELEASE:  Southern Legal Foundation (SLF) and the Texas Public Policy Foundation Prevail in Constitutional Challenge to Biden COVID Order!

On February 25, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas entered a final judgment declaring the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium order unconstitutional.  The decision is the first of what will ultimately be many decisions by the federal courts rolling back the executive and regulatory overreach of the administrative state.

“The court’s order holding the CDC’s interference with private property rights under the veil of COVID-19 serves as notice to the Biden administration that the Constitution limits government power,” said SLF General Counsel Kimberly Hermann.  “The federal courts will continue to be a primary bulwark against unconstitutional overreach by federal and state governments.  As our record shows, we have fought and won cases just like this for decades, and the current administration has shown no restraint.  We are preparing cases across the constitutional spectrum to defend against unrestrained government action.”  The federal court’s decision sets critical precedent:  eviction moratoriums imposed by the federal government are unconstitutional.  This means that even Congress cannot come in behind this decision and legislate.  It’s just flat unconstitutional.”

Southwest Legal Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation jointly represented a coalition of residential landlord and property managers in winning this case.

You can read more about the lawsuit at https://www.slfliberty.org/post/cdc-eviction-moratorium-lawsuit-filed-challenging-unconstitutional-agency-order-tppf-and-slf.

The below article was written by Attorney Michael Millman.

No Facts to Support Eviction Control

Housing providers need to fully understand that the Federal Court in Texas was unable to find any “facts or data” to support the proposition that local evictions give rise to “tenants automatically becoming homeless” and thereafter residing in homeless encampments or congregant settings.  There was no evidence that these groupings or living arrangements elevated the risk of transmitting Coronavirus or higher levels of Coronavirus reporting. and disease.  Again, no factual basis to support the Center for Disease Control adopting a blanket prohibition against evictions!

It’s an interesting case because it spent so much time reviewing the history of the application of the “commerce clause” of the United States Constitution and a little bit of history about Rent Stabilization, Rent Control and price control.

The attorneys for the injured party never argued that the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the “taking of private property” by a government regulation to the extent that you need due notice, an apparatus for evaluating for taking, known as “due process,” and of course, the failure to provide the owner of the property (landlord) with proper justification and compensation.

Forced Labor & Free Rent is Illegal

After approximately 15 months, we now know that the local, County, State and Federal blanket moratoriums on collecting rent are illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Yes, a government agency may take the property of a private citizen.  It’s lawful under the Fifth Amendment, provided you offer “due process”, proper notice, a fair Hearing and the private property owner is legally and reasonably “compensated.

Government does take land to accommodate football stadiums, libraries, schools and hospitals.  It’s lawful.  It’s appropriate.  I think in Connecticut they took private property to accommodate a shopping center.  But this does not allow the Government to force you to work for nothing and give free rent!

Wealthy Tenants Benefit

There are hundreds of thousands of tenants in California who are wealthy.  They don’t need a rent freeze.  They don’t need an eviction moratorium.  They’re still working and being paid.  There’s more product being made by Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, and Sony Studios than ever before.  There must be 100 TV stations, excluding premium stations such as Netflix, Apple, Disney and HBO.

Television, sports and film are making tremendous amounts of money.  Your friends at Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market are making a lot of money.  You have to stand in line to get into a Trader Joe’s or a Chik-Fil-A.

There are many wealthy tenants taking advantage of forced labor and free rent!

The Only Fair Solution:  Rental Vouchers

So, let’s give the tenants rental vouchers equal to market rent.  If “we are all in this together”, then let’s all pay for it together!   Let’s insist the tenants pay for balcony and stairway repair, earthquake retrofit construction as well as water, sewage and trash.  Let’s remove the obsolete CPI formula for the annual rental adjustment.  Remove the eviction moratorium which is really just nothing but “Free Rent” and FREE forced labor.

If you want cases to go to Small Claims Court, let’s allow both the landlord and the tenant the right of appeal.  If the tenant hasn’t paid their rent, let’s allow the judge to issue a removal award or a right of possession, including damages.

AOA’S NOTE:  Please print out and mail it to: 

Governor Gavin Newsom

1303 10th Street, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA  95814

AOA Says: “Now is the Time to Strike Back!”

This is what AOA has been waiting for to build a case against the State and the cities in California.  We now have legal precedent in a Federal Court of Law!  We also have three new Supreme Court justices who value the property rights that former members wanted to redistribute to all the people.  Our goal is to eventually take the case to the Supreme Court.  We will either file a new case or join together and support another case that is currently looking like it could succeed.  These thieves owe our industry and individual housing providers millions of dollars as a result of the damages they have inflicted.

As you may know, we have been building a “war chest” to use just for a situation and time that we now have before us.  We immediately need an additional $250,000 to add to $250,000 that is already waiting in the “war chest”.  With the additional $250,000, we’ll have the necessary total of $500,000 and we can immediately file to get back our property and stop being forced to provide “free rent”!  

Well, what are you, as an affected housing provider, waiting for?  Are you going to sit back and allow these immoral politicians to financially rape you and future families, or will you do something about it NOW?  I know that your answer is to do your share and take action now!  So, please write a check or go on the AOA website and donate at least $1,000, or $100 for each unit that you own.  It would cost you much more for just one more month of “free rent” and we’d now have the best chance ever to win!

Please take action NOW. donate at AOAUSA.com/PAC to the AOA Political Action Committee