The City of Los Angeles is joining a fight against a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that city and county officials say handcuff local efforts to address homelessness. On Wednesday, Sept. 25, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court asking the body to hear the Martin v. City of Boise ruling.
The September 2018 Ninth Circuit ruling found that laws that bar people from sleeping on the streets when there is not enough shelter beds available violates the Eighth Amendment. The brief notes that Los Angeles agrees with that tenet, but the ruling applies too broadly and leaves Los Angeles’ enforcement rules too vague.
“Homelessness is a public health and safety emergency which requires a careful balance on our streets,” Feuer said in a prepared statement. “Boise’s lack of clarity could place the City at risk of litigation as leaders strive to fashion the humane, practical solutions this crisis urgently demands. We hope the Supreme Court will take the case and provide needed guidance.”
The decision comes after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to back or draft an amicus brief in favor of overturning the Martin v. City of Boise ruling.