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Supreme Court Could Decide on Homeless Public Sleeping

The Supreme Court will be considering for the first time whether the Constitution gives homeless people a right to sleep on the sidewalk.
December 9, 2019, 5am PST | urbanguy
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Romi Chiorean

The Supreme Court "will be weighing Boise's appeal of a much-disputed ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that held last year that it was cruel and unusual punishment to enforce criminal laws against homeless people who are living on the street if a city doesn’t offer enough shelters as an alternative," reports David G. Savage.

In August, Boise formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its appeal in the case of Martin v. Boise, the "camping lawsuit" that arose from enforcement of a city ordinance that banned homeless people from sleeping in public places.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September 2018, and upheld in April 2019, that cities cannot prosecute people for sleeping on the streets if there is nowhere else for them to go, saying that violates the Eighth Amendment and amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

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Published on Friday, December 6, 2019 in Idaho Statesman
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