San Diego Joins Camping Ban Case Review by US Supreme Court

by on September 19, 2023 · 1 comment

in Homelessness, Ocean Beach, San Diego

On Monday, in a closed session, the San Diego City Council voted 6 to 2 to join a city in Oregon that is asking the US Supreme Court to weigh in on the legality of its camping ban. After yesterday’s vote, San Diego will file an amicus brief, or a written submission with legal arguments and recommendations about the case.

San Diego is only joining the case as an “amicus curiae,” or a “friend of the court.” This means the city isn’t party to the case, but can get permission to submit briefs and arguments supporting the city in Oregon — Grants Pass. Of course, San Diego has a reason as it just recently implemented its own camping ban.

As Voice of San Diego reported:

A few years ago, three homeless people in Grants Pass, Oregon, sued the city and sought to overturn its camping ban. In 2020, a court sided with the homeless residents and said it was a violation of the Eighth Amendment to restrict camping and sleeping in public if there’s nowhere else for homeless people to go.

The court’s decision was based on a 2018 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fox 5 reported. The ruling found the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Eighth Amendment prevents governments from punishing homeless people for camping in public if they have nowhere else to go.

But Grants Pass wants a re-do. After unsuccessfully appealing the rulings of the lower court and the Ninth Circuit court, Grants Pass is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. … According to the petition by Grants Pass, the city wants the U.S. Supreme Court to decide: “Does the enforcement of generally applicable laws regulating camping on public property constitute ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ prohibited by the Eighth Amendment?”

In the vote in closed session by the San Diego City Council, Councilmembers Monica Montgomery Steppe and Vivian Moreno were opposed, and Council President Sean Elo-Rivera was absent.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Toby September 19, 2023 at 3:19 pm

I noticed a number of these “No Camping” sign in the Ocean Beach & Pt Loma
Heights communities. Where did these signs originate and how do I buy one?

My street is a favorite overnight parking place for RV’s and van lifers.
The city will not enforce parking violations for these oversized luxury vehicles who use residential streets as their campgrounds.


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