Mayor's Statement Regarding Grants Pass Supreme Court Decision

Today, the United States Supreme Court essentially struck down the 2018 Ninth Circuit decision that handcuffed cities in the enforcement of local anti-camping laws against homeless. In today's decision, the Grants Pass case, which the City of Huntington Beach joined by Amicus, overturns the 2018 Martin v. Boise homelessness case. The Martin decision basically stated the enforcement of anti-camping laws violated the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court today disagreed - holding that "cruel and unusual punishment" standard could not be broadly presumably applied by the Ninth Circuit to an entire population of people, but rather, challenges to the Eighth Amendment would have to be done locally on a case by case basis. This is a big win for cities, for local control.
I am excited about the high court ruling in favor of local control, and in this instance, restoring cities with the ability to maintain public safety and law and order. It's unfortunate that based on the 2018 Martin case, cities were intimidated into non-enforcement of anti-camping laws that were actually designed to humanely equip cities to keep their communities clean and safe.
City Attorney Michael Gates said about today's ruling "in 2018, I was one of the few voices speaking the truth about the Martin v. Boise case - that cities should not curtail existing approaches to enforcement of anti-camping laws into essentially no enforcement at all. This Supreme Court decision is important because it returns the ability to maintain law and order and the promotion of safe communities back to local municipal officials. I'm pleased the Council elected to join this Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by Amicus and residents may find it interesting that the City of Huntington Beach is cited by the Supreme Court in its decision. A good day for Huntington Beach."
The decision can be found on the Supreme Court's website.