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Idaho State News

Supreme Court to Review Homeless Camping in Public Spaces

(BOISE) – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in City of Grants Pass v. Gloria Johnson after Attorney General Raúl Labrador led a 20-state coalition asking the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in the case.

City of Grants Pass v. Gloria Johnson deals with the ability of local governments to address homeless camping on city streets, sidewalks, and public spaces.

Other cases dealing with this subject include the 2009 case of Martin v. City of Boise, where the Ninth Circuit found that the Eighth Amendment gives people the right to sleep, camp, and defecate in public spaces and prevented cities from doing anything about it. In this case, the Ninth Circuit went even further and held that the Eighth Amendment even prevents civil fines for living in public parks and spaces.  These decisions have stripped states of their right and ability to regulate public spaces.

“We have all witnessed the impacts on the public streets and spaces of once-beautiful cities like Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.  Homelessness, fueled often by the enabling policies of legalized drugs, has destroyed the vitality of these cities, as residents sidestep used needles, garbage, and human waste in their public spaces.  This is at the heart of preserving livability in cities everywhere and I’m very pleased the Supreme Court is taking this matter before them,” said Attorney General Labrador.