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On January 12, 2024, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson to resolve the issue of whether an Oregon city’s regulation on public camping constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The City of Grants Pass enacted three different ordinances that “prohibit sleeping on public sidewalks or streets and camping on streets, parks, or other publicly owned property.” If violated, the offender is “subject to civil citations and can be barred from entering a city park for 30 days. The challengers, three unhoused city residents, sought to block the city from enforcing these ordinances, arguing that it punished them and “all involuntarily homeless individuals” for “resting, sleeping and seeking shelter from the elements in Grants Pass.”

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice website on February 21, 2024. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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