Following a lawsuit filed by Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of California landlords, the California Judicial Council announced last week that it will end its illegal ban on eviction hearings.
By creating a de facto ban on evictions, the Judicial Council undermined the state’s separation of powers and seized policymaking power from the legislature and governor to block landlords’ access to courts.
“Constitutional limitations on government are never more important than during an emergency,” said PLF senior attorney Damien Schiff. “In this case, we challenged an eviction moratorium enacted not by the politically responsible branches of California’s government, but rather by the judiciary. Because it attempted to codify policy rather than merely regulate the practice of state courts, the rule exceeded the Judicial Council’s authority under the California Constitution. We are pleased not only that the Judicial Council has voted to rescind the rule, but also that the Council recognized, as the Chief Justice put it, that the ‘judicial branch cannot usurp the responsibility of the other two branches on a long-term basis to deal with the myriad impacts of the pandemic.’”
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Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 14 victories out of 16 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.
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