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Supreme Court to consider legality of banning homeless individuals from sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court will consider whether prohibiting homeless individuals from sleeping outside when shelter space is limited is considered cruel and unusual punishment, in a case seen as significant for addressing homelessness in the United States. Courts in Western states have ruled it unconstitutional to penalize those sleeping in homeless encampments without available shelter. Advocacy groups argue that punishing those in need of housing will only worsen the crisis, while the Justice Department believes individuals should only be punished for sleeping outside if there truly is nowhere else for them to go. The case originates from Grants Pass, Oregon, where fines for sleeping outside were implemented to manage homeless encampments in public parks due to rising housing costs. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined such bans violated the 8th Amendment, as homelessness in the United States has increased by 12%, reaching record levels due to high rents and lack of pandemic assistance.


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