In a challenge to the constitutionality of the “eviction moratorium,” the federal government argued that the case had become moot because the specific order at issue had expired. The Fifth Circuit expressed skepticism:

“Appellees respond that the appeal is not moot because the parties still dispute whether the government has constitutional power under the Commerce Clause to invade individual property rights by limiting landlords’ use of state court eviction remedies. The government maintains it has such authority. And in the government’s view, espoused at oral argument, that constitutional power is in no way limited to combatting the ongoing pandemic; the government asserts it can wield that staggering constitutional authority for any reason. Appellees further contend the proposed dismissal is a pretext to avoid appellate review of the constitutional question.”

(emphasis added). The court concluded, however, that it did not need to address mootness because it was granting the government’s motion to dismiss “on terms . . . fixed by the court” under FRAP 42. Those terms included the “express condition” that ‘”our dismissal does not abrogate the district court’s judgment or opinion, both of which remain in full force according to the express concession of the government during oral argument and in briefing.” Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control, No. 21-40137 (Oct. 19, 2021) (One panelist joined the result only.)

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