From: LA Times
Boise, Idaho – a bit shy of a quarter-million people – would rank as only the third most populous city in Los Angeles County. But it’s big enough to take up a federal court case that could radically change how Los Angeles and virtually every other city and county in nine Western states – including Hawaii and Alaska – deal with the homeless people in their midst.
A year ago, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told Boise that it’s unconstitutional to stop the homeless from sleeping in public spaces if there’s not enough shelter available for them. Now Boise wants the U.S. Supreme Court to have a look at that decision. Two constitutional lawyers with the Los Angeles office of the influential law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher — it’s a big foot in a white shoe – are working to persuade the top court to take on the Boise ruling. Theane Evangelis is partnering with renowned lawyer Theodore B. Olson on this, a case that, whether the Supreme Court takes it up or not this fall, already has a profound influence on the homeless in American cities, whether it’s the several hundred in Boise or the 36,000 in the city of Los Angeles.
There is a huge public health and safety crisis that we’re facing on our streets in all of our major cities. And it has reached emergency proportions. Boise is no different from the rest of the more than 1,600 municipalities in the 9th Circuit. It, too, is grappling with these issues and trying to figure out solutions as we all are here in Los Angeles as well.