Supremes rule bans on public camping do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment of the homeless

By Around the Web


(MSN) – The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that barring people from camping in public parks and imposing fines on those who do does not criminalize the status of homelessness, and does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

The 6-3 decision in Johnson v. Grants Pass authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch appears to be a win for West Coast governments, assuring that they have the authority to enforce anti-camping laws and to clear sprawling homeless camps from their parks and sidewalks. The ruling comes as unsheltered homelessness has skyrocketed on the West Coast.

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But while the ruling affirms that local governments can take action against squalid homeless camps in their communities, it does not say that they must take action.

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