Justices seem to take city’s side in homeless encampment regulation

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case that could answer the question about if and how homelessness can be policed. 

The City of Grants, Oregon v. Johnson is set to examine overlapping laws in Grants Pass, Oregon, which outlawed sleeping and camping in public places. A pair of homeless people sued the city, claiming the law violated the Eighth Amendment protections from “cruel and unusual” punishment. Typically, the Eighth Amendment is invoked to protect against punishments, not laws. 

The court appeared split along ideological lines during oral arguments. Some justices expressed concerns about punishing homeless people who don’t have an alternative shelter solution, but there seemed to be general agreement that the issue shouldn’t be decided by the courts.

The case

The underlying debate relates to the 1962 case Robinson v. California, which ruled a person cannot be criminalized for being addicted to
Read more…

Please follow and like us: