Nine western states could BAN homeless from public areas as Supreme Court agrees to hear case with backed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Liberal governor demands Supreme Court allow him more power to remove homeless camps as San Francisco business exodus gathers pace 
  • Comes after 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that removals break the Eight Amendment ban on ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ 
  •  Supreme Court agreed on Friday to examine whether the ruling goes too far  

California’s liberal governor Gavin Newsom has asked the Supreme Court to help him solve the state’s homeless crisis by allowing him to ban rough sleeping.

Justices agreed on Friday to consider whether a lower court was wrong to rule that a ban on homeless people in public places was unconstitutional.

It comes after the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals declared that anti-camping ordinances in San Francisco, violate the Eighth Amendment ban on ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.

Newsom has repeatedly promised to ‘own the issue’ as the city faces an exodus of businesses from a city blighted by drug use, and has urged the nation’s top court not to ‘tie his hands’.

‘California has invested billions to address homelessness, but rulings from the bench have tied the hands of state and local governments to address this issue,’ he said on Friday.

California governor Gavin Newsom claims ‘rulings from the bench have tied the hands of state and local governments to address this issue’

The city is expected to have recorded over 800 drug deaths for 2023 - which would top its highest year on record, 2020, when 726 people died

The city is expected to have recorded over 800 drug deaths for 2023 – which would top its highest year on record, 2020, when 726 people died

Pedestrians have to pick their way through streets full of unconscious and semi-conscious people in the streets of the Tenderloin district of San Francisco

Pedestrians have to pick their way through streets full of unconscious and semi-conscious people in the streets of the Tenderloin district of San Francisco

‘The Supreme Court can now correct course and end the costly delays from lawsuits that have plagued our efforts to clear encampments and deliver services to those in need.’

A quarter of a million people have fled the Bay Area since the beginning of 2020, Newsweek reported in June.

The governor said the state was investing in behavioral problems and mental health reform, and claims to have got 68,000 people off the streets and 6,000 encampments removed since he became governor in 2019.

But many of those encampments were removed for the APEC summit in November, which saw Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, among other world leaders and thousands of delegates, descend on the city.

And residents told Dailymail.com that the problem has returned with a vengeance since security barriers were removed.

‘It’s really bad, worse than I’ve ever seen it,’ said Howard Ul, 60, manager of the Golden State Donut Shop in Tenderloin.

‘Every corner here around here now is like garbage. They’re all back.’

The circuit court ruling restricted interventions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

A separate ruling from the court halted bans on homeless people ‘using a blanket, pillow, or cardboard box for protection from the elements’.

A map reveals the major businesses which have left, or plan to leave, San Francisco in recent months

A map reveals the major businesses which have left, or plan to leave, San Francisco in recent months

California currently reports over 170,000 homeless individuals with 7,800 in San Francisco

California currently reports over 170,000 homeless individuals with 7,800 in San Francisco 

Drugs are openly dealt on the streets of the area which is blighted  by homelessness

Drugs are openly dealt on the streets of the area which is blighted  by homelessness 

Newsom insists he takes responsibility for California's spiraling homelessness crisis

Newsom insists he takes responsibility for California’s spiraling homelessness crisis 

San Francisco saw 620 reported overdose deaths in the first nine months of the year

San Francisco saw 620 reported overdose deaths in the first nine months of the year

Newsom’s office filed an amicus brief in September urging the Supreme Court to clarify ‘that state and local governments can take reasonable actions to address the homelessness crisis creating health and safety dangers for individuals living in encampments and our communities’.

Theane Evangelis, a lawyer for Grants Pass, the Oregon city which launched the appeal, told Fox News: ‘The tragedy is that these decisions are actually harming the very people they purport to protect.

Lawyer Theane Evangelis said: ‘The tragedy is that these decisions are actually harming the very people they purport to protect'

Lawyer Theane Evangelis said: ‘The tragedy is that these decisions are actually harming the very people they purport to protect’

‘We look forward to presenting our arguments to the Supreme Court this spring.’

Around 100 retailers in downtown San Francisco have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic – a decline of more than 50 percent from 2019.

Office vacancy rates hit a record high of 34 per cent in September as shops were driven out of the downtown area by heightened crime and economists warn the city is spiraling into an ‘urban doom loop’.

Looting specifically became a huge problem for the city while rampant theft caused the downfall of San Francisco’s main shopping area – Union Square – and forced many major chains and local businesses to permanently shut their doors.

Starbucks, Whole Foods, IKEA, Nordstrom and the Disney store have all shut some of their San Francisco locations down as a result of the city’s drastic issues with crime.

In October, LinkedIn put up the top five floors of its 63,000 square feet, 26-story building for rental till December 2027 and laid off 668 employees.

A few months prior, Meta announced it was ready to abandon its 435,000 square feet San Francisco building once its lease expired in 2031.

Companies such as Airbnb, Paypal, Slack, Lyft and Salesforce have also left tens of thousands of square footage buildings in the city in the past year.

The city is expected to have recorded over 800 drug deaths for 2023 – which would top its highest year on record, 2020, when 726 people died.

A DailyMail.com analysis of cuts faced by key departments in San Francisco reveals the police department must find savings of $18.5 million and public health budgets could lose $26 million

A DailyMail.com analysis of cuts faced by key departments in San Francisco reveals the police department must find savings of $18.5 million and public health budgets could lose $26 million

Nearly 8,000 people were on the streets or in shelters across the city by one count last year

Nearly 8,000 people were on the streets or in shelters across the city by one count last year

August was the deadliest month, with someone dying from an overdose every nine hours on average – while in October, an average of two people died each day.

Grants Pass has argued that homeless encampments lead to increased crime, fires, and even the ‘reemergence of medieval diseases’.

But lawyer Ed Johnson, who challenged the city in court, said: ‘The issue is whether cities can punish homeless residents simply for existing without access to shelter.

‘Nevertheless, some politicians and others are cynically and falsely blaming the judiciary for the homelessness crisis to distract the public and deflect blame for years of failed policies.’

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