Supreme Court to Hear Critical Homelessness Case in April

On January 12, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear Johnson v. City of Grants Pass, a case concerning whether individuals experiencing homelessness possess a constitutional right to camp on public property when lacking alternative shelter. This case will address whether laws regulating camping on public property violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment.” This case stems from a 2018 Ninth Circuit ruling, Martin v. City of Boise, which established that cities cannot penalize unhoused individuals for violating anti-camping ordinances if adequate shelter beds are unavailable. The Court may hear arguments in the case in April and issue a ruling by the end of June.

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