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Sunday, January 14, 2024

Conservative SCOTUS to Rule on Homelessness Case, With Gavin Newsom’s Assist

  • The Supreme Courtroom will weigh in on a case that might upend homelessness coverage throughout the US.
  • At difficulty is whether or not cities can ban homeless people from sleeping or tenting in public areas.
  • In an uncommon twist, California Gov. Gavin Newsom requested the conservative-led Supreme Courtroom to listen to the case.

In what’s an uncommon scenario, a consortium of liberal politicians had requested the conservative-leaning Supreme Courtroom to overturn a decrease court docket ruling that has saved them from sweeping public homeless encampments.

On Friday, the Supreme Courtroom agreed to weigh in on the problem, a choice that was backed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and different Democratic leaders within the West who’re searching for extra latitude to deal with homeless populations which have develop into extra prevalent within the area in recent times — particularly for the reason that begin of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s of probably the most vital circumstances involving the rights of homeless people to be taken up by the Supreme Courtroom in current a long time, and it might have enormous ramifications on the processes by which Western states method the ever-present homelessness disaster.

The Supreme Courtroom agreed to reexamine the case of Johnson v. Metropolis of Grants Move, the place the US Courtroom of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit deemed it unconstitutional for cities to punish homeless residents for staying on public property in the event that they lacked entry to shelter options.

Per court docket filings, Grants Move — an Oregon metropolis of just about 40,000 residents — lacks a homeless shelter. And two smaller housing applications within the metropolis solely “serve solely a small fraction” of the homeless inhabitants. In 2013, the plaintiff’s attorneys wrote that Grants Move “started aggressively implementing a set of ordinances that make it illegal to sleep wherever on public property with a lot as a blanket to outlive chilly nights.”

The Ninth Circuit dominated 2-1 that the Grants Move measure, which got down to bar people from sleeping in public with gadgets like blankets and different protections, was in violation of the Eighth Modification which prohibits “merciless and weird punishments.”

The difficulty has united many liberal and conservative politicians as they’ve requested the Supreme Courtroom to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s ruling within the Grants Move case.

Newsom, together with Democratic leaders in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu, now discover themselves on the identical facet as Arizona Republican lawmakers who’re additionally searching for to sort out homelessness in public areas.

“California has invested billions to deal with homelessness, however rulings from the bench have tied the palms of state and native governments to deal with this difficulty,” Newsom mentioned in an announcement on Friday. “The Supreme Courtroom can now right course and finish the pricey delays from lawsuits which have plagued our efforts to clear encampments and ship companies to these in want.”

The Supreme Courtroom is anticipated to listen to arguments in April, with a choice anticipated by the early summer season.

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