Monday, April 17, 2006

Court Finds Constitutional Right to Sleep on Sidewalks

From the LA Times:
Los Angeles' policy of arresting homeless people for sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks as "an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter" violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and [unusual] punishment, a federal appeals court ruled today.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, decided in favor of six homeless persons, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The suit challenged the city's practice of arresting persons for violating a municipal ordinance, which states that "no person shall sit, lie or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or public way."
Of course, now the Ninth Circus Court of Fools has opened a real can of worms. This ruling, depending as it does, upon the "unavoidable consequence of being human" means that laws against public urination and defecation are also cruel and unusual punishment, if the urine and feces are being produced by homeless people. And, since the sex drive is an "unavoidable consequence of being human", it means that laws against public fornication will also not apply to the homeless.

Excellent, now, along with its other tourist attractions, LA can boast the country's first officially sanctioned publicly urinating, defecating, and fornicating hobos. I'm going to book a flight right away.

Via Stop the ACLU

More at The Jawa Report.