Supreme Court Allows Homeless to Sleep Outdoors

The Supreme Court has allowed a ruling to stand that permits homeless people to sleep outdoors in areas where proper shelter does not exist.

According to The Hill:

The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a ruling that deemed it unconstitutional to criminally prosecute homeless people for sleeping on outdoor public property when no other shelter is available.


A panel of judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the ruled that a Boise, Idaho, ordinance violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, prompting the city of Boise to appeal.

The Supreme Court’s decision to deny the appeal means that the requisite four justices did not sign on to hear the petition, and keeps intact the lower court’s decision.

The 9th Circuit panel was careful to say their ruling was a narrow one that did not impose a requirement on Boise to provide shelter for its entire homeless population, or allow sleeping on all outdoor public areas ay any time.

The reasoning here is that jailing people and fining people for sleeping outdoors when no other options exist is unconstitutional.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
11 months ago

I wonder how the Circuit and Supreme Courts feel about homeless people taking up residence on public sidewalks in residential neighborhoods.

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