Newsline

Newsline , Society

Supremes Refuse to Normalize Sleeping Rough

Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2024
|
by Outside Contributor
|
26 Comments
|
Print

Whether you live in a city or a small town, you’re a winner because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, announced on Friday. The Supremes ruled 6-3 that municipalities can ban homeless encampments from sidewalks, parks and other public areas. Sleeping in the rough is not a constitutionally guaranteed right, said the court.

It’s likely no other Supreme Court ruling this year will positively impact more people. In cities plagued by street living, parents walking their children to school have to navigate around discarded needles and human waste. Store owners opening up in the morning have to deal with entrances blocked by cardboard shelters. People risk getting mugged walking by the encampments on their way to work.

The small town of Grants Pass, Oregon, banned sleeping under cardboard boxes, tents and blankets in public places. Homelessness advocates sued, citing a 2018 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling — Martin v. City of Boise. It said that fining or jailing people for sleeping in the rough was “cruel and unusual punishment,” a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Lawyers for Grants Pass asked the Supreme Court to overturn Martin, citing the incidence of “crime, fires, the reemergence of medieval diseases,” and “record levels of drug overdoses and deaths on public streets” wherever sleeping rough is tolerated.

In every one of the nine states affected by the Martin ruling — Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — street living has soared since 2018, up 51% in Alaska, 46% in Idaho, and 46% in Oregon, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual homeless survey. Legalizing living rough encourages it.

Had the Supreme Court ruled against Grants Pass, all 50 states likely would be facing a surge in street living.

Stunningly, the three justices who dissented in Grants Pass — Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson — showed no interest in how homeless encampments harm quality of life for other residents. Sotomayor, who penned the dissent, sneered at the majority for framing the problem “as one involving drugs, diseases, and fires instead of one involving people trying to keep warm outside with a blanket.”

Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson want to legitimate sleeping rough, arguing that there are “myriad legitimate reasons people may lack or decline shelter.”

New York City’s far left City Council has the same misguided idea. It passed a “Homeless Bill of Rights” making street living a right. The average lifespan of someone living on the street is 48 years, compared with 78 for most people. Losing three decades of life is not a right. It’s a terrible wrong.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, cited data from many cities showing that most homeless are living on the street by choice, refusing offers of shelter in favor of easy access to illegal drugs and no shelter rules.

San Francisco attested to the court that it has “seen over half of its offers of shelter and services rejected by unhoused individuals who often cite” the Martin order “as their justification to permanently occupy and block public sidewalks.”

Finally, Gorsuch said judges should not be homelessness czars, dictating policy. It’s up to local lawmakers to decide how the homeless are cared for and how public resources are spent. The Grants Pass ruling is a bold denunciation of judges making decisions that should be left to locally elected leaders.

Are you listening, Mayor Eric Adams? New York City is a victim of this judicial activism.

For over four decades, New York City residents have been forced to foot an enormous bill — billions of dollars a year — because of a consent decree and subsequent court rulings that dictate the city’s homeless policies, down to details like meals served and square footage per person. The big winner is the homeless-advocacy-industrial complex that runs shelters, files lawsuits and profits off the exorbitant spending.

New York City is the only place compelled by the courts to guarantee shelter for all comers.

It will bankrupt New York. Tell Adams it’s time to challenge the consent decree and wrest control of homeless policy from judges. If little Grants Pass can do it, the Big Apple can too.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2024 CREATORS.COM

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
26 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leslie
Leslie
11 days ago

Yes, imagine that. The SCOTUS actually found that public spaces, paid for by taxpayers are for the use of the public. They are NOT bathrooms and campgrounds to be used by drug addicts and criminals. Yes, I know not everyone who is homeless falls under that category. Close the border, stop the drugs, treat criminals like they are in fact criminals and lock them up,THEN try to help people. Waste of time otherwise.

Ray Doyle LFP, WA
Ray Doyle LFP, WA
10 days ago

why is it legal to camp on city street but the forest service, park service, BLM, and ag depart can restrict access to the land they manage for us?

Lynne
Lynne
10 days ago

Stop feeding them, giving free medical care if they don’t want to get treatment for mental issues and drug addiction. Most like the freedom of living on the street. People who lost housing due to financial issues will be glad except any help offered, I’m sure those people would have not problem with rules…

Lawrence Westen
Lawrence Westen
10 days ago

Here’s an interesting idea that my really, really smart (and beautiful) wife came up with – let’s move all the homeless people to closed army bases. They don’t get a choice; they just get moved. The army bases already have basic housing so we don’t have to build them a house or an apartment. Everyone will be responsible for maintaining their own residence. They don’t get any cars or cell phones. Everyone gets a bicycle. The base clients can grow their own fruits and vegetables. We turn on the water and the electricity, but the electricity goes off at 9:00pm. Street lights stay on all night. We will use retired service MPs to patrol the bases and keep the peace. And we’ll save money by not building the drug addicts new homes paid for with my taxpayer’s money.
 
EVERYBODY is assigned a job, such as doing the laundry, street sweeping, garbage collection; for which they get paid minimum wage. They can also do volunteer work at the church or the library.
 
There are no bars or night clubs, no movie theaters and no restaurants. There are no liquor stores and no place to buy cigarettes. There is a library where you can check out up to 5 books at a time. There is no television, but you can listen to a radio if you work overtime to pay for the radio. There is a non-denominational church that is open until 9:00pm every day. 
 
If anyone leaves the base and goes back to living on the street in a city, they get picked up, spend 6 months in jail and then get moved back to the army base. 
 
The base clients can leave the base if (and when) they get a job off the base and can completely support themselves without welfare assistance. 
 
What did I leave out? 
 
Thoughts? Comments? 

Fed Up
Fed Up
10 days ago

The people living on the borders might finally get some much needed relief from all the homeless illegal people living on the streets and in parks in residential neighborhoods. The crime and filth from trash, body waste, drugs, needles & condomes etc. have robbed neighborhood children of space they use to run free in.
For far too long far left bleeding heart liberals have been applying the Constitution to NON citizens! No other country in the world gives non citizens the same rights as legal citizens! It is lunacy plain and simple. You have no rights in countries where you are not a citizen. That being said; however, does NOT give a country the right to physically abuse or harm a human being. LAWS are to be obeyed and enforced when entering another country. Break the law, go to jail, be denied entrance or get deported! In America law breakers win door prizes for breaking the law! Housing, cell phones, food, medical care, medicine and more are handed out to law breakers at the expense of American Taxpayers.
Justice Neil Gorsuch was absolutely correct when he said, “most homeless are living on the street by choice, refusing offers of shelter in favor of easy access to illegal drugs and no shelter rules.” As someone who has volunteered in shelters and food kitchens from a young age, Justice Gorsuch speaks truth.

Veteran John Victorine
Veteran John Victorine
11 days ago

Awesome=
See Better Days are {Coming}} !!!!!!!
????????????????????????????

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
10 days ago

I truly feel sorry for most of these ppl who suffer from either drugs, alcohol, insanity, or other mental difficulties but there are places in Reno I will not go to (unarmed anyways) because its where they live… its not safe or sanitary.

anna hubert
anna hubert
11 days ago

This started in the 60ties with marijuana use while adults and the law kept their eyes shut It went on with the government help Welfare etc. Now after three generations we have the audacity to act surprised? What did those who enabled it expected? This is what destroys a functioning society The only way out is to prevent the present and future generation from using Who will implement that? It would require an enforcement of the draconian law and merciless treatment of distributors Not happening More excuses and “help” No way out

Flora Swanson
Flora Swanson
8 days ago

Aren’t the New Yorker city residents the ones who vote in people like Mayor Adam’s? If so, they aren’t “forced” to pay to support the homeless with their Dollars, rather it seems like they concur with the policies and want to provide for homeless rather than fire departments and police.

Dave
Dave
9 days ago

It all comes down to, do we enforce laws or not?

Franklin Werkheiser
Franklin Werkheiser
10 days ago

A lot of these people are Elderly Americans and Americans getting screwed by our Government and War Vets also being screwed by their Government, so when is the Supreme Court going to rule that our Government can no longer help Illegals with Free Money and Housing and help OUR HOMELESS that they helped make Homeless.

Marta
Marta
10 days ago

Slowly but surely, it has been instilled in the mind of the mindless that ‘the majority’ rules. Somebody needs to remind the ignoramus that screaming does not make one a majority, and that we are NOT a Democracy. We are a Republic.

Gil
Gil
10 days ago

This is why so many come to America but America is a Republic and because it is, it a place where anyone can come and earn a living and prosper. We are not a socialist nation and we need to look at what children are learning in our schools before it is too late.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
10 days ago

I gotta question, dont 5these homeles draw a disability check. ???? Kyle L.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
10 days ago

Fix up a few abandand army bases and FORC$E them to go there. YES FORCE$. BUildints are there,cfhow halls and etc. That would solve most of the problem. Come on Libs,sream loud. Hoiw would you like to oen your front door to go to work in the morning aned find a big dump from someoe . Kyle L.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
10 days ago

Come to Blue States & Cities then for Rest

Patriot Eric
Patriot Eric
10 days ago

Thank you SCOTUS, thank you POTUS 45 …. God Bless you all & God Bless America!

Trending News

Worldwide News

Former President Donald Trump is surrounded by Secret Service agents at a campaign rally July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. | Evan Vucci/AP
Former President Trump holds campaign rally in Butler, PA
Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, California.(Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

26
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games