Trump judge wants to allow evictions but says she can’t

A federal judge, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump and previously ruled to emasculate the federal government’s power to protect public safety, is refusing landlords’ request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich on Friday said her “hands are tied” by an appellate ruling the last time courts considered the evictions moratorium in the spring, although she made it clear she still thinks it’s illegal.

A group of Alabama landlords who are challenging the moratorium said they are likely to appeal this decision.

Friedrich wrote that the new temporary ban on evictions the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed last week is substantially similar to the version she ruled was illegal in May.

At that time, Freidrich put her ruling on hold to allow the Biden administration to appeal and the higher court has yet to reach a final decision but it kept things in place pending the result.

This time, she said, she is bound to follow a ruling from the appeals court that sits above her, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

If the D.C. Circuit doesn’t give the landlords what they want, they are expected to make their case to the Supreme Court, which is stacked by anti-government conservatives, three of which were appointed by Trump.

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