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The Supreme Court, homelessness, and sleeping outdoors

Demonstrators, members of the media, and bystanders gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
Demonstrators, members of the media, and bystanders gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

Amid the much-anticipated immunity ruling by the Supreme Court and the fury over the presidential debate, you may have missed the Supreme Court’s biggest decision on homelessness in decades.

The top court ruled to uphold an ordinance that makes it easier to punish people for sleeping outdoors with penalties, fines, and jail time. Cities across the country have reacted to the news.

San Francisco says it will begin sweeps of homeless encampments, while New Hampshire’s most populous city, Manchester, enacted a ban on homeless camps. But Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass came out against the Supreme Court’s decision calling it “disappointing” and saying it could drive unhoused populations from city to city.

What are the consequences of this decision?

Copyright 2024 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven
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