Justices back ruling letting homeless sleep on sidewalks

Coming Soon to Your Town….


A homeless man packs up his tent on 1st Street in downtown Los Angeles in July.

A homeless man packs up his tent in downtown Los Angeles in July. The Supreme Court let stand a ruling that says homeless people have a right to sleep on the sidewalk if a city doesn’t have enough shelters to house them.(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling protecting the right of homeless people to sleep on sidewalks or in parks when they can’t find space in a shelter.

The court’s refusal to review the case marked a major win for homeless people and their advocates, and a setback for city authorities in California and eight other Western states.

West Coast cities, including Los Angeles, had urged the justices to consider the appeal in the case, City of Boise v. Martin.

City officials argued that the appeals court ruling in the case undermined their ability to regulate homeless encampments on sidewalks.

Lawyers for the homeless argued that arresting people for sleeping on sidewalks when no shelters were available amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

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