September 7, 2018

"Cities can't prosecute people for sleeping on the streets if they have nowhere else to go because it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, which is unconstitutional..."

"The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with six homeless people from Boise, Idaho, who sued the city in 2009 over a local ordinance that banned sleeping in public spaces. The ruling could affect several other cities across the U.S. West that have similar laws...."

AP reports.

Here's the text of the opinion, which I looked up mainly because I wanted to see if it quoted George Orwell. No, but it does begin with the famous line from Anatole France:
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.
Let me give you some of what Orwell wrote about in "Down and Out in Paris and London":
I have slept on the Embankment.... It is... much better than not sleeping at all, which is the alternative if you spend the night in the streets, elsewhere than on the Embankment. According to the law in London, you may sit down for the night, but the police must move you on if they see you asleep; the Embankment and one or two odd corners (there is one behind the Lyceum Theatre) are special exceptions. This law is evidently a piece of wilful offensiveness. Its object, so it is said, is to prevent people from dying of exposure; but clearly if a man has no home and is going to die of exposure, die he will, asleep or awake. In Paris there is no such law. There, people sleep by the score under the Seine bridges, and in doorways, and on benches in the squares, and round the ventilating shafts of the Métro, and even inside the Métro stations. It does no apparent harm. No one will spend a night in the street if he can possibly help it, and if he is going to stay out of doors he might as well be allowed to sleep, if he can.

108 comments:

rehajm said...

9th circuit. Say no more...

rehajm said...

Now do defecating in the street.

Achilles said...

Imagine that.

A bunch of unelected leftists seek to tell people what they can and can’t do.

Break up the 9th.

Send the current branch to Juneau Alaska. Alaska is large enough to have it’s own circuit.

Split the rest into the 10th and 11th circuit and appoint completely new courts.

Carol said...

Oh boy, we're 9th circuit in Missoula. I kind of agree with the ruling, though. But this and the the old vagrancy statutes were used to keep the riffraff out of town and I'd prefer that we could still do that.

Orwell wasn't drinking when he was on the streets. According to him lots of those guys were not. And not doing drugs. Big difference right there! Maybe an upper class toff or two would show up in the kip drunk, slumming....

Henry said...

From the article:
The biggest issue was that the city's rule violated the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment, the court found. The amendment limits what the government can criminalize, it said.

Is that a correct reading of the 8th Amendmen? It makes sense and I like limits on what the government can criminalize, but I hadn't heard about that reading before.

Leland said...

No one will spend a night in the street if he can possibly help it

I don't agree. Then again, in Orwell's days, there were asylums, and perhaps I should focus on "possibly help it".

Birkel said...

And then the judges returned to their gated communities.

tim maguire said...

It's a practical decision. You gotta sleep somewhere. Making it illegal to sleep on the street makes as much sense as making it illegal to be homeless.

rehajm said...

The local ordiances that prevent me from putting my slaughter house in your residential neighborhood or prevent me from painting my house an unapproved shade of gray certainly infringe on a few constitutional givens, too.

Suck it up buttercups.

EDH said...

What is interesting about this decision is that "prosecution" is deemed "punishment".

Rob said...

So now Anatole France is wrong. The law can forbid the rich from sleeping under bridges, because they have somewhere else to go, but it can't forbid the poor from doing so.

Mike Sylwester said...

We don't need no stinking legislatures.

We have judges, and that's enough.

Ralph L said...

Somerset Maugham slept on the Embankment in the semi-autobiographical Of Human Bondage.
I don't know if he slept with Orwell.

When I lived in Alexandria, VA, there was a lawsuit about the homeless sleeping in the public library, but I can't remember the outcome.

Curious George said...

I believe the judges chambers are public places.

Michael K said...

Ninety percent of the "homeless" problem is mental health and addiction.

There are people sleeping in the streets that own homes. I have treated a few.

I used to take my students to the "skid row" area of Los Angeles. We would visit the various shelters and talk to the Directors.

I wanted them to see where their County Hospital patients came from and returned to.

We spent time with the medical vans that park at a certain spot each week. Homeless people are often functioning well enough to keep appointments with the vans. That's why they park in the same spot the same day each week.

For about five years we had a terrific guide. He had been a crack addict living on the sidewalk in downtown LA under a huge mural of the runner Florence Griffith Joiner. He said he used to sit there and watch her run.

He got himself clean and was working for the city on outreach. He knew a lot of the people on the street. Eventually, he got married and moved to the Valley and we lost his guidance.

Etienne said...

The way to solve all these problems is to become a Monarchy again.

DanTheMan said...

>>And then the judges returned to their gated communities.

Exactly right. If I were a conservative billionaire, I would start a bus service to gather all the homeless and deposit them inside the 9th Circuit courthouses.

DanTheMan said...

>>>The way to solve all these problems is to become a Monarchy again.

I humbly offer my service as your Sovereign.

Chris N said...

Public property is maintained by the people paying taxes and volunteering time and energy to maintain public areas. It’s already a capsule within a reality or Nature which doesn’t seem to care.

The people doing this work should be allowed to make the laws they want.

I live in a city around people with messianic, and I do mean lunatic, beliefs, which attract more and more homeless, mentally ill, drug addicted vagrants by the day.

The hard truth is that it takes sacrifice entering into a relationship with someone who truly needs help, but true-believers live in their own bubble where they will have their impossible, childish beliefs and blame responsible people who deny them their fantasy.

All while living off the time and money of responsible people!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The vast majority of people with no where else to go would have somewhere else to go if they made different life choices.

LYNNDH said...

In the few comments above and I am sure will be posted below I see little compassion for the homeless. You do not know just how close you might be yourselves to be homeless. Sometimes it does not take much to be homeless. Yes, a good many have "issues" but is that an excuse to be what I might say is cold hearted.

Shouting Thomas said...

Henry Miller was lured to Paris by his mistress, who was also engaged in a lesbian affair with a French woman. He didn't know about this.

His mistress advanced him the money to cruise to France, where he was supposed to begin his career as a full time writer.

He arrived in Paris but his mistress had absconded and was nowhere to be found.

Miller slept on the steps of Notre Dame until... I don't quite remember that part of the story.

Birkel said...

LYNNDH,
I do not understand why compassion for the homeless should outweigh compassion for everybody else.
Can you explain your weighting system?

AllenS said...

I hate to sound cruel, but thank God for Wisconsin winters.

n.n said...

All things are legal when prosecuted under a layer of privacy at the twilight fringe. Yes, including cruel and unusual punishment and summary judgments.

Jupiter said...

In what sense are six homeless people "from Boise"?

D 2 said...

If one can do --- can another do --- ? Are there to be no rules, no framework? If the Street is owned by the State, and each citizen can lay claim to possess a piece of it, via the State, for their own purposes - for sleeping or for walking or for driving or for urinating or for sex or for making sandwiches to passers-by?

I am not a lawyer. State property presumably exists to serve a public purpose. I thought a "Street" was serving the public purpose of providing access between parcels of private property. Paid for in some legislative fashion via taxation of either those private properties or via those citizens who reside on such by taxing their income or purchasing. Does the definition of Street need to be complicated to serve other purposes in 2018?

Hmm. Perhaps the State may instead choose to own other property - call them public housing, shelters, asylums, workcamps, schools, monasteries, iluchinas, etc - the word does not matter. But the stated public purpose of those properties may be to house those within society who cannot afford to house themselves privately, or who do not have family friends willing to offer them charity to be housed by them.

The first thing was to call things what they are, accurately. You can be supportive of increased public housing or you can be totally against the idea. But let's call one thing Street and another thing Housing.

rcocean said...

Isn't this an absurd opinion? Why does everyone put up with this judicial over-reach?

One Judge - or maybe 2 out 3 - came up with this crazy nonsense that's based on nothing. There's NOTHING in the constitution that allows a couple judges to strike down a city ordinance on sleeping in the streets.

Lets just have a monarchy and stop calling ourselves a Republic.

Unknown said...

Prosecuting those that sleep in the streets is Cruel and Unusual punishment? I'm not a lawyer (obvs) but that seems like quite a stretch.

-sw

rcocean said...

And all this deference. "Oh, I'm not a lawyer..."

Here's a clue. The constitution hasn't changed very much in 200 years. And bans on sleeping on the streets were NEVER considered unconstitutional.

Now it is. But evidently, you need to be a law professor to understand, because its soooo complex.

Except it isn't.

mockturtle said...

Funny how vagrancy was a crime back in the day and no one called its enforcement 'unconstitutional'.

TestTube said...

So, to what extent does this ruling maintain a right to housing or shelter of some sort?

What obligation does the local government have to provide some sort of temporary shelter?

Of what quality must that shelter be? Does it have to be superior to the conditions on the street?

What can the government require of those who stay in the shelter?

As an example, I could see a city "solving" the homeless problem with warehouse like structures, with individual sleeping zones marked off on bare concrete. Then they could argue that they have provided an alternative to sleeping on the street. Not a very nice alternative, but an alternative.

But there is another argument -- the liberty argument that people are free to sleep in certain public areas. The warehouse "solution" would not counter this argument.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

There was a homeless man who slept in Julia Davis Park in Boise in the middle of the road. After being run over for the second time, the hospital nick named him "Speed Bump." We will expect to see more of this in the future.

mockturtle said...

I used to think 'cruel and unusual punishment' referred to drawing and quartering. Stuff like that.

PM said...

Except for the severly-dinged indigents (there but for the grace of God...), the vagrants in SF are just like every other citizen: they want the freedom to be left alone. They don't care about the Navigation Centers or other restrictive places. Were it me, the first thing I'd spend city money on is a massive fleet of Honey Wagons parked strategically. That would at least solve one of the worst by-products of the problem.

Unknown said...

"Speed Bump", now that's funny. You know what else was funny, the Senator that auction barked down the woman protester in the Kavanaugh hearing. Neither is the funniest thing ever, but, then again, I'm not a Libertarian.

-sw

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The prosecution should have pointed out that, in fact, the homeless do have somewhere else to go.

Boise has 18 Starbucks, according to Google. Problem solved.

Howard said...

I've never known a homeless person who could not work to get off the streets. They just like all the free stuff and scabies from the shelter pillows.

Wilbur said...

A quick Google search for "Boise homeless shelter" reveals at least 13 places serving this function. Those on the street in Boise - or any other city in the USA - are there by choice. Those places providing shelter have behavioral rules for those who use their services. The rules are intolerable for those choosing to live on the street.

I guess these rules are cruel and unusual too.

For those who see little compassion among these comments, I would ask: When are you going to take one of these unfortunates into your home?

wild chicken said...

"the Senator that auction barked down the woman protester in the Kavanaugh hearing."

Thought that was the Twitter hearing.

Michael K said...

Blogger ~ Gordon Pasha said...
There was a homeless man who slept in Julia Davis Park in Boise in the middle of the road. After being run over for the second time, the hospital nick named him "Speed Bump." We will expect to see more of this in the future.


When I was a surgery resident we had a guy sleeping on the beach run over by the sand sweeper, a big tractor that swept debris out of the sand at night.

We operated on him for some abdominal trauma I don't remember and found that he had a uterus, tubes and ovaries.

Postop we had to decide whether to put him in the female ward.

We could have put him next to the poor women who had a complete uterine prolapse. A student nurse came running out of the room saying, "There's a MAN in the female ward !"

Bob Boyd said...

@ Michael K

I like your stories.

Ralph L said...

There was the reverse on an episode of "House." A female model with cancerous interior testicles.

Sebastian said...

"There's NOTHING in the constitution that allows a couple judges to strike down a city ordinance on sleeping in the streets."

Right. Much of con law is a con--pure fabrication.

Birkel said...

Somebody above has the correct interpretation. This is a move toward judges declaring an affirmative right to state funded housing. All of life's necessities to follow.

Unknown said...

wild chicken: a brief search proves you correct! Silly me, I thought all the shouting and interrupting was confined to the Kavanaugh circus and so assumed that is from whence the video emerged. I've also been advised it is "auctioneering" not barking.

-sw

Yancey Ward said...

Can the homeless sleep in the 9th Circuit's courtrooms?

Michael K said...


Blogger Bob Boyd said...
@ Michael K

I like your stories.


I have a book of them on Amazon Kindle.

PackerBronco said...

I think the city should sue to allow them to sleep in those judges' living room.

Bob Boyd said...

"I have a book of them on Amazon Kindle."

Cool.
A link or title?

rehajm said...

I don't think there's anything compassionate about letting people sleep in the street.

Francisco D said...

"The biggest issue was that the city's rule violated the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment, the court found. The amendment limits what the government can criminalize, it said."

This makes no logical sense. It conflates "cruel and unusual" with punishing criminalized behaviors. Are the 9th Circuit judges that stupid or is this just another example of judges pushing their political preferences and mentioning the Constitution as an aside.

Another point that strikes me is that arresting a homeless vagrant can be seen as a way of giving them food and shelter. It's sort of like Andy "arresting" Otis after he tied one on.

Michael K said...

Blogger Bob Boyd said...
"I have a book of them on Amazon Kindle."

Cool.
A link or title?


Link.

Chuck said...

Yancey Ward said...
Can the homeless sleep in the 9th Circuit's courtrooms?


This is the second spot-on brilliant comment I have seen from you today. The other being your realistic and intelligent reaction to the Washington Post's odd reporting on the Florida family looking for a hospital to treat a premie. I fully agree with you, that we have not been given an accurate or complete account in that case.

Back to the homeless of Boise...

According to the 9th Circuit, a homeless person can sleep in Boise's parks and public spaces when and if there are no available shelters. It makes the opening quote that Althouse quoted all the more ironic. Because per the 9th Circuit, the homeless really do get special rights. They get to camp in public parks, because they are homeless. But someone with a home cannot. I presume that someone who is visiting Boise, and who does not have a home in the area, but who could afford a hotel room, who chose to camp in a city park, would be charged with an ordinance violation. Only the homeless get to camp in parks, and only when there are no homeless shelter beds.

Richard Dolan said...

Providing for all the wrecked lives that end up on the streets is no easy task. Here in NYC the homeless population has its cycles, but never goes away. It's a mix of true crazies (paranoids and schizos), the merely troubled (addicts and nuts who aren't completely out of it like the true crazies) and the down-and-out. The locals tolerate it so long as the homeless don't get too aggressive, the encampments doesn't take over public spaces (parks, sidewalks), and the mess is kept mostly out of sight.

Unlike some upthread, these cases strike me as hard. The idea that a condition one has no ability to change can nevertheless be punished as a crime files in the face of basic notions of what a crime is. The criminal law almost always requires a showing of mens rea, and doesn't punish the mentally incompetent (they can't even be tried if incompetent) because they are deemed to lack the capacity to understand or control what they do. But infractions of administrative or regulatory laws often don't require that element. Sleeping outdoors in a public space for want of alternatives has aspects of both.

Some years ago, a homeless and badly unwashed guy sued after he was thrown out of a local public library in NJ -- the stench made it impossible for others to use the library at the same time, and this fellow was camping out for the day. He won in the district court, and there was a lot of commentary about the case (mostly negative). As many said, public libraries aren't shelters and only work as intended if some minimum standards are observed by all users -- standards intended to ensure that use by one patron does not effectively preclude use by another. The NJ case didn't involve a criminal prosecution, but only an administrative action by the folks in charge of the public library, and so strikes me as falling more on the side of allowing exclusion.

But hard cases, all.

eddie willers said...

I just spent sixty days in the jailhouse
For the crime of having no dough, no no
Now here I am back out on the street
For the crime of having nowhere to go


The Band/ The Shape I'm In

Seeing Red said...

In the few comments above and I am sure will be posted below I see little compassion for the homeless.

The compassionate emptied the sanitariums.

They have rights and one right is to not take their meds.

Where should they go?

Seeing Red said...

If you want to have some fun and be fair, one of the billionaires keeps snapping up Malibu homes. Eminent domain them and turn them into 1/2 way houses.

But that doesn’t happen.

Seeing Red said...

They already had state funded housing!


You do not know just how close you might be yourselves to be homeless.


Can I renounce my US citizenship and get all the freebies?

What is the difference between me being homeless and someone else? Other than not knowing how to work the system?

Seeing Red said...

I have worked hard to balance my female compassion hardwiring with my testosterone.

Saying oh that’s terrible and virtue signaling is the easy part.

Robert Cook said...

"Henry Miller was lured to Paris by his mistress, who was also engaged in a lesbian affair with a French woman. He didn't know about this.

"His mistress advanced him the money to cruise to France, where he was supposed to begin his career as a full time writer.

"He arrived in Paris but his mistress had absconded and was nowhere to be found."


You've got it backward. Miller went to Paris to become a writer, while his mistress, June, stayed in NYC. She encouraged him to become a writer. and she did give him money, money she earned as a taxi dancer, and also from seducing rich men. Later, Miller had June come over to visit him in Paris, and then she entered into an affair with Anais Nin, whom Miller was also sleeping with.

Seeing Red said...

Fortunately, there’s a program I think Florida? Georgia? They implemented that was working.

Creative thinking and the opportunity to try instead of top down bureaucrats grubbing for money.

gerry said...

It's a practical decision. You gotta sleep somewhere. Making it illegal to sleep on the street makes as much sense as making it illegal to be homeless.

And then you become San Francisco.

Sebastian said...

"This makes no logical sense. It conflates "cruel and unusual" with punishing criminalized behaviors."

Exactly.

Plus the argument has to rest on the "cruel" part: if a town or state treats all homeless the same way, the punishment cannot be "unusual."

Of course, if judges can declare any punishment for a particular kind of conduct inherently cruel and unusual, they in effect declare what conduct is sanctionable at all. It moots democratic deliberation about things we do and do not want to prohibit, except insofar as we then must ensure by our votes that only judges returning to common sense will be elected or appointed.

Jupiter said...

Blogger Sebastian said...

"Of course, if judges can declare any punishment for a particular kind of conduct inherently cruel and unusual, they in effect declare what conduct is sanctionable at all."

This seems to be the crux of the matter. They are saying that the mere act of prosecution is "cruel punishment", not because of any suffering it might cause, but because of the behavior it is intended to prevent. It is cruel to outlaw some things. And we will determine which things those are.

I know these judges are Commies, but even so, it's hard to believe they actually graduated from law school and passed the bar exam if they are that stupid. I think they must be trolling us.

Jim at said...

Yes, a good many have "issues" but is that an excuse to be what I might say is cold hearted.

Sorry if it's 'cold-hearted' but I don't give a shit about drugged out bums who take advantage of lenient laws to make life miserable for the rest of us.

Mark said...

Funny how vagrancy was a crime back in the day and no one called its enforcement 'unconstitutional'.

I seem to remember back in the day when I was in law school, over 25 years ago, that vagrancy laws had been struck down as unconstitutional.

And the reasons for it were/are largely the same as why the ObamaCare individual mandate was wrong -- such laws make it illegal to be poor. They are relics of feudalism.

Mark said...

bans on sleeping on the streets were NEVER considered unconstitutional

"Are there no prisons? And the Union workhouses, are they still in operation?"
"Both very busy, sir..."
"Those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

William Chadwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William Chadwick said...

It all goes back to the basic libertarian question: "Who owns the streets?"--which leads to another basic question: "Who should own the streets"? If I am a property owner, not even the stupidest, most irrational State-shtupper* would object to me giving some homeless person sleeping it off on my property "the bum's rush" (here, more than a quaint saying).

*You know the people who I mean.

hombre said...

I haven’t read the opinion, and won’t, but I do wonder about designated sleeping areas. Perhaps that can be enforced, even in the Ninth Circuit. If they became gross enough, some might leave town, or would the 9th legislate minimum sanitary conditions because some bums really, really wanted to stay in, say, San Francisco.

tcrosse said...

The people who own and run San Francisco have the power and the means to change things, if they choose to.

rcocean said...

I like Orwell - as do most people - but that doesn't obviate the fact that he was a very weird guy.

What other middle class person would spend weeks living in the streets, or doing manual labor, or working in a kitchen, just to understand being "down and out" is a bad thing? And he would often write about how the middle class thought the working class "smelled". His whole perspective of viewing everything through class is odd.

It reached it height in "Homage to Catalonia" where he blathers on about how the "Working classes" had taken over Barcelona - and how the Bourgeois were all skulking around afraid and the waiters and busboys could finally look everyone in the eye, and work with pride.

RichardJohnson said...

PM
Except for the severly-dinged indigents (there but for the grace of God...), the vagrants in SF are just like every other citizen: they want the freedom to be left alone.

Good way to test that hypothesis: cut all SF municipal funding for the homeless. After all, the homeless want to be left alone, so they would view municipal funding as interference in their lives. Right?

If the homeless just want to be left alone, then why do they panhandle?

n.n said...

Michael K:

"War Stories: 50 Years in Medicine"

... makes it clear how deeply he feels both the good and bad fortune of his patients even decades later. You'll find yourself wishing he were your doctor and your neighbor. -- Wendy Laubach


That's high praise, Dr. K. It assures you the status of must read commentator. There are a few with both knowledge and principles worth acknowledging and following. Have a nice day.

glenn said...

Leave Boise alone. This problem wil resolve itself by November first.

n.n said...

If the homeless just want to be left alone, then why do they panhandle?

Left alone is a relative term. There are few, if any, who would want to be isolated. What they want is freedom from the so-called "rat race", judgment, accountability, responsibility, and all. Perhaps the freedom to choose a non-taxable vocation.

walk don't run said...

I spent the summer of 1973 hitchhiking around Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, back through France and on to England and Scotland) with a knapsack and a sleeping bag. Most of the time I slept outside in parks, on beaches, on fields and in orchards. Occasionally I would go to the odd youth hostel to spend the night and get a shower. I was never arrested or attacked. The weather was good to me and I was rained on once and covered myself with a groundsheet. It is amazing how easy it is to get used to that lifestyle especially the low cost. The two month cost of my trip was $200 excluding airfare. I should add that many of my rides were amazingly generous giving me meals and a bed to sleep in from time to time. I'm almost certain that you could not do that today.

Of course I was an attractive young college student. I wasn't mentally ill. I was relatively clean although I had a beard which was a bit unusual in Europe at that time.

That's the closest to being homeless that I have ever been. Until this article I had never thought of myself leading the lifestyle of the homeless.

Sebastian said...

So, could a conservative federal court just decide that any sanctions for, say, insider trading, are cruel and unusual punishment? On the grounds that it makes markets work better, and that Congress is economically illiterate, etc.--just make something up.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Blogger DanTheMan said...
>The way to solve all these problems is to become a Monarchy again.

I humbly offer my service as your Sovereign.


I, for one, welcome our new DanTheMan overlord!

Jack Wayne said...

None of these judges understand the Tragedy Of The Commons.

Jupiter said...

Sebastian said...
"So, could a conservative federal court just decide that any sanctions for, say, insider trading, are cruel and unusual punishment?"

No. A conservative court could not do that. Which is why all the Commies in the Senate are so upset about Trump appointing another conservative to the Supreme Court.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Blogger Mark said...
Funny how vagrancy was a crime back in the day and no one called its enforcement 'unconstitutional'.

I seem to remember back in the day when I was in law school, over 25 years ago, that vagrancy laws had been struck down as unconstitutional.

And the reasons for it were/are largely the same as why the ObamaCare individual mandate was wrong -- such laws make it illegal to be poor. They are relics of feudalism.

Vagrancy isn’t about being poor. It’s about having no employment or other income stream. Plenty of people work very hard—and yet remain poor. I have great respect for anyone who works hard.

Vagrants aren’t even trying. News flash: I don’t want to work either—no one does. We do it because we have to.

And I don’t think that mentally incompetent people should be considered vagrants.

Mark said...

Vagrancy isn’t about being poor. It’s about having no employment or other income stream.

Whatever.

Making it a crime to be unemployed is better??

Cassandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassandra said...

So from reading the opinion must I also conclude that since eating (like sleeping) is an ineluctable aspect of being human, a starving Jean Valjean can no longer be jailed in Boise (or anywhere in the Ninth Circuit) for stealing bread if there are inadequate free soup kitchens. Perhaps not even for robbing a bank (but only for an amount sufficient) to buy bread. Of course if he could be jailed he would receive bread. So jailing him solves his bread problem albeit at a short-run cost that is surely greater than simply giving him bread but without the "better move to San Francisco" effect of jail. I presume Victor Hugo and Anatole France would be pleased.

mockturtle said...

Cassandra, I like your argument. And perhaps, if sex is a necessary function of humanity, then not offering it [free prostitutes] is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment and rape would be a non-chargeable offense in those circumstances. As with the Muslim refugee in Germany who raped the young boy at the swimming pool and pleaded a 'sexual emergency'.

Most of the homeless need help, not just housing. They need drug rehab and/or mental health evaluation and treatment. And it should NOT be their choice to make.

Robert Cook said...

"I don’t want to work either—no one does."

Not true. Most people want to work and find it gratifying. No one wants to work at a shitty job for shitty pay for shitty people.

wildswan said...

Why not require a state to issue housing permits corresponding to the number of immigrants legal or otherwise to that state plus the homeless? In California and New York people are homeless because housing has been made fantastically expensive because permission for housing starts is refused. Meanwhile illegal immigration is encouraged. If there was more housing corresponding to the number of new immigrants in the cities there would be more cheap housing and then fewer homeless. Right now there are homeless working people while housing permits are being refused to maintain "quality of life".

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

In California and New York people are homeless because housing has been made fantastically expensive because permission for housing starts is refused.

This is true, wildswan, in places like Seattle-Tacoma, as well. Lots of working people living in their cars and taking morning showers at the gym.

tcrosse said...

The people who own and run places like San Francisco have the power and means to solve the Homeless Crisis, if they chose to do so. They don't.

Chris N said...

Robert Cook, if you believe no one wants to work a shitty job, for shitty pay and for shitty people, why are you still a Socialist?

Howard said...

Coastal Cali homeless has a lot to do with the mild weather

Freeman Hunt said...

In Sebastian County Arkansas, it seems that they are trying to charge a woman with illegal possession of a firearm because a man attacked her, and she used her husband's gun to defend herself. What a world!

0_0 said...

So living on the sidewalk can't be illegal.

How about shitting on the sidewalk? I really wish I didn't have to endure the lack of sanitation.

Michael K said...

she used her husband's gun to defend herself. What a world!

She was in a car stopped and marijuana was found. Everyone denied it was theirs so everyone was charged with possession.

It was a felony , which is astonishing.

Felons can't have guns, which is why she was charged. Her husband owned the gun but was not home.

I suspect an ambitious prosecutor.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I suspect an ambitious prosecutor."

Ambitious and unable to read an audience. Won't go over well in Arkansas.

whiskey said...

I think what ruined this -- the quasi-nobility of the homeless, the love for the down and out poor -- was drugs. We don't see people down on their luck, we see the addled with syringes who might kill us or give us AIDS.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Im sorry, but surely they can sleep outside the city limits.

Walk to the edge of town, step over the line, sleep.

Problem solved.

This is how you get more Trump.

Phil D said...

"no one wants to work a shitty job, for shitty pay and for shitty people,"

I believe it was one of our writers, Godfried Bomans (*), who used some argument like this to illustrate the difference between a monkey and a man. That is, a monkey indeed wouldn't do a shitty job but a man would to support his family (I'm paraphrasing).
So no surprise that Cookie is the monkey here since he has, at best, a monkey faith.



(*) though the argument is quit Chestertonian so it might have been GK himself

Bruce Hayden said...

"Funny how vagrancy was a crime back in the day and no one called its enforcement 'unconstitutional'."

There was a case on vagueness of a Florida vagrancy law when I was in LS. The Supreme Ct overturned the conviction due to the statute being too vague, which probably meant on Due Process grounds. Ann would likely know. The joke by the prof was that the law pretty much described many 3Ls.

Bruce Hayden said...

Here is that case on vagrancy:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papachristou_v._City_of_Jacksonville
https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/405/156.html

Bruce Hayden said...

"Oh boy, we're 9th circuit in Missoula. I kind of agree with the ruling, though. But this and the the old vagrancy statutes were used to keep the riffraff out of town and I'd prefer that we could still do that."

Was there (Missoula) last weekend. Murdochs had been advertising some pretty good gun sales over Labor Day. Unfortunately, the sale started Wed, and they sold out that day. Fine print somewhere that the prices were only good as long as the (meager) supplies lasted. Bought two other guns anyway (wont be able to buy handguns in another month, when we go south for the winter, so was stocking up). Shot them both today for the first time. One was a .380 pocket gun, which is easy to carry full time. Had to go to Cabellas way down south to get a good choice of self-defense ammo (though Walmart had a decent selection of target ammo at a good price).

Other thing was that we had just acquired a six week old mini-cat. Cat supplies are problematic here in this small town (2 hours down river). Dogs are much better served here. Missoula has several big box pet stores, and we stalked up on a bunch of stuff, but I passed on the mega scratching towers, because we just won't have room on the trip south next month. The mini-cat did really well on the trip -sleeping all the way back.

Reinforcing that the 9th Circuit is way too big, we bounce between MT and AZ, roughly 1200 miles each way, and both are in the 9th Circuit. Several hundred miles further if you head to Billings and E MT, and probably over 2000 miles if you swing through CA, OR, and WA on the way. Here in MT, we have so little in common with the populated portions of CA, and would do much better in the 10th Cir sitting between our two houses. For one thing, in rural MT, pretty much everyone owns guns and knows how to use them. And pretty much every family owns at least one pickup. No electric cars though, since we couldn't get to the nearest Walmart on a single charge(we are about 2 hours in 5 directions from the nearest Walmarts). Everyone is excited that the coal trains are running again - we had a couple through town today. And the cowboys are real. Yet our jurisprudence is driven by the liberal wackos in CA, who provide the bulk of the population, and, thus, the bulk of the seats on the 9th Circuit.

Rusty said...

AllenS said...
"I hate to sound cruel, but thank God for Wisconsin winters."

Not cruel at all. The public parks in and around Costa Mesa are a homeless convention. Every day. Especially the one accross thestreet from the Costa Mesa police departmnt.
Apparently the city fathers live in Newport Beach becuse you never see any homeless there.

The Crack Emcee said...

Next to depriving someone of food, depriving them of sleep is the worst. America should be ashamed of so much.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gore Vidal opens one of his novels (Burr or Lincoln I think) with blacks guarding the White House - asleep while standing up.

It set America's tone perfectly.

hstad said...

So there were 6 homeless people who sued? Who backed them? At what point will these judges actually turn down any suit at all? But I live in CA and we are used to the morons populating the 9th. It has very little in common with the rest of the country. Someone blogged about "Monarchs" - well the 9th is populated by them!