Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho issues statement on SCOTUS Grants Pass homeless decision

As the current term of the U.S. Supreme Court winds down, several monumental decisions have been released. Today, the court released its decision on the case involving homelessness in Grants Pass, Ore.

In a 6 - 3 decision, the court ruled that governmental entities can prohibit sleeping and camping in public places. Notably, the court's liberal wing dissented, arguing that such bans could exacerbate the plight of the homeless. The conservative majority, however, maintained that penalizing those without a place to sleep does not violate the Eighth Amendment.

The decision can be viewed below.

The case drew an unusual assortment of varying support for Grants Pass from predictable conservatives and liberals, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho also supported Grants Pass.

Ho has aggressively pursued homelessness since being elected and taking office in January 2023. Ho has filed a lawsuit against the city of Sacramento over their handling of the crisis.

This morning, Ho issued the following statement:

"I support today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on encampments on public property. It is a significant ruling that addresses the complex issue of homelessness afflicting our community. As Sacramento's District Attorney, my priority is to ensure public safety while also recognizing the dignity and humanity of every individual. This decision underscores the importance of finding compassionate and effective solutions that balances the needs of all residents.

The “Martin v. Boise” experiment can no longer be used as an excuse to do nothing. We must now redouble our efforts to provide comprehensive services and compassionate enforcement with an approach guided by empathy, respect, and a commitment to creating a healthier and safer Sacramento for everyone.”

There has been no reaction from the city of Sacramento regarding the ruling. Not surprisingly, Newsom also issued a statement supporting the decision but urging treating unsheltered invididuals with dignity.

Newsom's statement said:
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court provides state and local officials the definitive authority to implement and enforce policies to clear unsafe encampments from our streets. This decision removes the legal ambiguities that have tied the hands of local officials for years and limited their ability to deliver on common-sense measures to protect the safety and well-being of our communities.

“California remains committed to respecting the dignity and fundamental human needs of all people and the state will continue to work with compassion to provide individuals experiencing homelessness with the resources they need to better their lives.”

Photo by Chris John via Pexels




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