Supreme Court to take up anti-camping homelessness laws

Western states have been barred from enforcing anti-camping laws without offering a proficient amount of shelter beds to the homeless.

Last week the Supreme Court agreed to review rulings from lower courts regarding anti-camping homelessness laws in the western part of the country. 

The big picture: The review is prompted by a case involving the city of Grants Pass in Oregon and the blocking of anti-camping ordinances in San Francisco by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • The court rulings found that punishing homeless individuals for sleeping on the streets when there is no alternative shelter is a form of “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Constitution.
  • Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington cannot enforce local anti-camping laws, per a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

What they’re saying: “The Supreme Court can now correct course and end the costly delays from lawsuits that have plagued our efforts to clear encampments and deliver services to those in need,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. 

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