Supreme Court Lets Stand 9th Circuit Ruling Finding Camping Ban Unconstitutional!! Rally to Demand Denver Follow Suit

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Jonathan

When: Friday Dec 20th 12noon
Where: Sidewalk in front of the Capitol
Why: Demand Denver Repeal Unconstitutional Camping Ban after Supreme Court Action

Friday December 20th 12noon 2019 in front of the State Capitol Building on Lincoln and Colfax the community will rally to demand Denver City Council follow the action of the Supreme Court the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court that Camping Ban’s are unconstitutional. Join the rally and make your voice heard!

Monday December 16th 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that they will not review the Ninth Circuit case, Martin v. City of Boise, 902 F.3d 1031 (9th Cir. 2018), thus upholding their ruling that it is cruel and unconstitutional to punish unhoused people for resting in public when they are involuntarily in public space.
In finding Boise’s ordinances unconstitutional as applied to Robert Martin and the other plaintiffs, the Ninth Circuit reasoned that people who are involuntarily in public space cannot be punished for universal and unavoidable human conduct, such as sitting, lying down, and sleeping. As was first held in Jones v. City of Los Angeles,1 punishing conduct that is involuntary and inseparable from homeless status is akin to punishing a person simply because he or she is homeless – a cruel result that cannot be tolerated under the Eighth Amendment.

The ruling makes clear that to determine involuntary presence in public space, courts must not look merely to whether housing or temporary shelter beds are empty, but to whether they are accessible. Access to adequate shelter means that a person has actual access to shelter that meets the person’s needs, taking into consideration disability, religious belief, and other individual factors.

Here in Denver CO right now a municipal judge is already hearing a motion to dismiss Jerry Burton’s Camping Ban ticket as unconstitutional. The Denver Camping Ban, just like the Boise one, criminalize the act of using cover in public space. This motion names numerous constitutional rights that are being violated by the law in addition to those named in the Boise case, including discrimination and state created danger by putting homeless people at greater risk under this law. This case makes it clear that shelters are not housing and cannot be treated as an option for someone to go to if it is less safe for them than the streets. This case will likely be appealed to higher courts and cost the City of Denver millions of dollar (that could be spent on housing) and years to defend. Denver City Council could end all of this immediately by voting to repeal the camping ban.

By not intervening in the Boise case, the Supreme Court keeps the ruling in place that these laws against public survival are unconstitutional. In order to uphold the constitution all cities, not just those in the 9th circuit, must overturn their Survival Ban.

Message to Denver City Council: Make the right choice NOW and end the Survival Ban before we have to spend millions more dollars and years in courts. Follow the action from the Supreme Court (yes even this Supreme court!) and end this unconstitutional law NOW!!!
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Contact: Denver Homeless Out Loud

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