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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case Finding City of Boise’s Enforcement of Public Camping and Sleeping Ordinances Unconstitutional

December 16, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that it will not hear the case of Martin v. City of Boise
 
The Supreme Court’s decision leaves intact the ruling from the Ninth Circuit, which concluded that the city violated the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment in the Eighth Amendment when it enforced its public camping and sleeping ordinances against homeless individuals with no place else to go.

Several local governments throughout the state and the nation filed friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Supreme Court to hear the case.  Many described the Ninth Circuit’s ruling as “unworkable” and urged the Supreme Court to provide further clarity so that cities can continue to develop and pursue creative and effective solutions to addressing homelessness in their communities.

Advocating for and securing additional funding and resources to prevent homelessness and assist individuals experiencing homelessness is one of the League’s strategic priorities for 2020.  The League will continue to work collaboratively with federal, state and local partners to advance this priority. 

In August 2019, the League City Attorneys Department hosted a webinar, “Strategies for Addressing Homelessness:  Policies and Enforcement Issues,” which includes an analysis of the Boise case and what it means for cities. A recording of the webinar and materials can be found on the League website


 
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