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US SC allows ban on homeless people sleeping outdoors – Times of India

WorldUS SC allows ban on homeless people sleeping outdoors - Times of India



The US Supreme Court decided on Friday that cities can enforce bans on homeless people sleeping outdoors, even in West Coast areas where shelter space is lacking.
The ruling comes after homelessness in the US grew a dramatic 12% last year to its highest reported level, as soaring rents and a decline in Covid assistance combined to put housing out of reach for more people.
In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the SC reversed a ruling by a San Francisco-based appeals court that found outdoor sleeping bans amount to “cruel and unusual punishment” under the 8th Amendment. “Homelessness is complex. Its causes are many. So may be the public policy responses are required to address it,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority. A bipartisan group of leaders had argued the ruling against the bans made it harder to manage outdoor encampments encroaching on sidewalks and other public spaces in nine Western states. That includes California – home to an estimated 171,000 homeless people, or nearly one-third of the country’s homeless population.
Homeless advocates, on the other hand, said allowing cities to punish people who need a place to sleep would criminalise homelessness. “Sleep is a biological necessity, not a crime,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent motion. The case came from the Oregon town of Grants Pass, which appealed the ruling striking down local ordinances that fined people $295 for sleeping outside after tents began crowding public parks.





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