(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – Liberal state attorneys and a renowned liberal governor are anxious as cities across the U.S. are grappling with escalating homeless crises, leading to a myriad of challenges caused by a seemingly inconspicuous court ruling.
In San Diego, homeless encampments are described as hubs of drug abuse with Hepatitis A outbreaks. Sacramento faces structural dangers as homeless individuals searching for water have inadvertently compromised the city’s flood protection levees, putting the entire city at risk.
Similarly, parks in Apache Junction, Arizona, are reportedly overwhelmed with homeless populations. Disturbingly, these parks are becoming littered with needles, drug paraphernalia, and unsanitary conditions.
Medford, Oregon, witnesses environmental concerns as homeless encampments along Bear Creek have introduced human waste and toxic substances into the waters. Further exacerbating the situation, some individuals have constructed makeshift dams using tarps, endangering local salmon populations. Additionally, an Oregon homeless camp has been identified as a location for processing stolen vehicle parts.
Alongside these specific concerns, broader challenges are emerging, including increasing fires and drug overdose deaths linked to these camps. Businesses near these encampments report declining patronage; in certain areas, government workers need police escorts to navigate public lands dominated by extensive homeless camps safely.
A collective of state attorneys general expressed their concerns, stating, “Families can no longer walk the streets of Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle in safety.”
Notably, Gavin Newsom, California’s Democratic governor, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the Ninth Circuit’s decisions. Newsom emphasized the paralysis communities experience, resulting in increased residents’ exposure to potential criminal activities.
This growing crisis prompted the submission of over two dozen legal documents to the Supreme Court last month. These documents urged a reconsideration of a Ninth Circuit ruling, which many believe has curtailed local governments’ ability to manage homeless encampments effectively.
The root of this controversy can be traced back to two pivotal Ninth Circuit decisions. The first, in 2018, deemed it unconstitutional to impose criminal sanctions on homeless individuals without “access to adequate temporary shelter.” This ruling laid the groundwork for subsequent legal battles, culminating in the 2022 Johnson v. Grants Pass ruling, which extended protections for homeless populations.
Lawyers representing Grants Pass, Oregon, believe these decisions conflict with other legal precedents and seek clarity from the Supreme Court. They underscore the urgency of the situation, citing increasing public safety and health concerns.