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Newsom asks SCOTUS to review ruling blocking cities from clearing homeless camps

Newsom's briefing warns that ruling would effectively prevent the cities from either addressing the homeless problem effectively or contending with the public health threats that stem from the extensive encampments.

Published: September 22, 2023 9:09pm

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday asked the Supreme Court to review a judicial decision barring cities in the Golden State from clearing homeless encampments, insisting that the decision was making the homeless problem in the state worse.

"It’s time for the courts to stop these confusing, impractical and costly rulings that only serve to worsen this humanitarian crisis," he wrote in a Friday filing, Politico reported.

West Coast cities, in particular San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore., have become notorious for their sizeable homeless populations and extensive encampments. These cities, however, may not clear these venues due to a court decision that overturned laws against camping in Grants Pass, Ore.

Newsom's briefing, filed after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Grants Pass decision, warns that ruling would effectively prevent the cities from either addressing the homeless problem effectively or contending with the public health threats that stem from the extensive encampments.

"While I agree with the basic principle that a city shouldn’t criminalize homeless individuals for sleeping outside when they have nowhere else to go within that city’s boundaries, courts continue to reach well beyond that narrow limit to block any number of reasonable efforts to protect homeless individuals and the broader public from the harms of uncontrolled encampments," he wrote. 

Homelessness has become a major issue facing American cities. New York Democratic Mayor Eric Adams attempted to clear homeless camps in June of this year, though city watchdogs later revealed that few of the thousands of homeless relocated in the effort had found permanent housing or stayed in shelters for more than one night.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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