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1010, 13 Jan 24

SCOTUS to Consider Homeless Rights to Public Land


The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether homeless people have a constitutional right to camp on public property when they have no other place to sleep.


Acting on appeals from city officials in California and the West, the court will review decisions of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which held it was cruel and unusual punishment for cities to deny homeless people a place to sleep.


As a result of the 9th Circuit rulings, public officials in California and the eight other Western states under its jurisdiction face greater scrutiny and legal challenges when they move to clear encampments or relocate homeless people.

The Constitution does not speak on this matter, so it is not a right protected by that document. As a matter of Natural Law, we all have a right to use public/communal/shared land. So if a homeless person sleeps on a bench for a night, no harm, no foul. Where it runs afoul is when a homeless person sets up a permanent residence with a tent or other structure. Or if they keep their stuff in a single place as to keep others away. In that situation, the homeless person is denying others the ability to use public/communal/shared land and the community is empowered to remove the homeless person to preserve the shared space.

The same principle applies with hunting on public land. A hunter is free to move into public land and hunt for a day or two in a spot. But if that hunter sets up a permanent shelter or stand, the hunter is claiming a spot of land as their own. It is squatting or de facto privatization of public land. In that situation, the community is equally empowered to make the hunter pack up and move along.


1010, 13 January 2024

1 Comment

  1. Tuerqas

    What!?! A liberal court making a constitutional judgment on something that is not covered in the constitution? How dare you recite legalize lawyer-like jargon concerning a superior court and their obvious right to make decisions on what is best for us! What does the constitution have to do with a constitutional right, anyway?

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