City Government

Supremes Turn Down Boise Camping Case

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday denied an appeal by the City of Boise to decide on the constitutionality of Boise’s anti-camping law.

Boise had earmarked more than $400,000 for attorney fees after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the city ordinance as “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The issue was one of the main topics of the mayor’s race between Dave Bieter and Lauren McLean. McLean opposed the ordinance, Bieter favored it. Cities across the USA filed “friend of the court” briefs seeking a legal decision on the ordinance. As it sits now, the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stands and the Boise ordinance is dead.

The GUARDIAN also warned nearly seven years ago about the pitfalls of trying to criminalize homeless issues, including panhandling.

Of eight homeless people who were issued tickets for camping on city property during 2019, city attorneys declined to prosecute three, two pled guilty resulting in a two and a three day room and board in a warm jail cell. Three cases are pending, but will logically be dismissed.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. There is a well-done documentary about the city of Indianapolis addressing homeless camps from a few years ago.

  2. Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness

  3. Boise camper
    Dec 17, 2019, 3:38 am

    Dave – can I pitch my tent in your yard?

  4. Easterner – when can we set up tents in your neighborhood?

  5. This is the politics of shaming that allows the fulcrum of emotions to be engaged against vulnerable targets, without the full context of the issue in question to be explored.

    As a former Leftist, that skillfully used these same tactics to advance what I thought were fully legit causes, I have learned that in a world (and this is very important here) that is steeped in hidden agendas, most policies are not intended to fulfill the promise that they are advertising.

    The War on Poverty was not intended to end poverty. It was intended to sustain it and foment Dependency. It took me a very long time to finally understand this. Every terrible social problem has been rigged to feature a sustained intractability to it. This requires endless government funds to continuously feed into it, with the hopes that someday the problem will be solved. Climate Change (hoax) is just such a problem that is being leveraged with an emotional fulcrum that will only be solved if we all surrender the middle class lifestyle to the promise that carbon taxes and/or downsizing your aspirations so that we will all survive some nebulous threat that computer models show we are all doomed. In classic psyop style, these progenitors of social dystopia have created their patron saint from Sweden, in the form of Greta Thunberg, to wield against us all like a sword. “How dare you” hold up a shield as they swing her at your filthy American suburban property and gas powered car(s). You are supposed to just take her slashes and strikes, and repent with vows to change your lives, because you destroyed her childhood. What rubbish.

    The homeless issue possesses the same features. They have been recruited as human shields so that you will just cave in and allow for whatever policies that they demand with the promise that we will once and for all, end homelessness in Boise. Except, that’s not going to happen. Look at Commiefornia. Continuous permissive policies have only sustained and fed the problem until it looks totally lost.

    Homelessness is a fundamentally structural problem that has many moving parts. The first thing is to NOT do anything that will deepen the hole that you have. Anything that you do to signal to everyone that we are a homeless mecca, will attract more homeless. IF, there must be a public policy response to this problem, it must put a limit on how many the policy will assist.

    The policy should ONLY assist those who are natives or have tried to live here for a given amount of time. Look how NYC has shipped their homeless to many other cities. That’s a lawsuit magnet. If someone got shipped here, they get sent back. Help those who wanted to be Idahoans first and foremost. Make other cities take responsibility for THEIR homeless populations.

    Once we identify OUR homeless, then do the math on incarceration and medical costs vs just getting them a place to stay and firm ground to collect their thoughts and a real plan to succeed as a contributing citizen in OUR community. Utah did this to some success. Also, highly encourage private based solutions. Do NOT make this a socialist only plan.

    And as always, I will say again and again….we MUST address the rising costs of living which are inextricably tied to the Debt based financing as opposed to a Savings based economy. NO MORE PRINTING FAKE MONEY!!!

  6. “Dave – can I pitch my tent in your yard?”

    “Easterner – when can we set up tents in your neighborhood?”

    As long as they stay on the public right-of-way, apparently it’s OK.

    But seriously… I’m not seeing either Dave or Easterner advocating for public on-street camping. They recognize that it’s a problem, as all of us should.

    There is a fantastic hour-long documentary on homelessness in Seattle on the YouTube, done by KOMO TV:

    Here’s my oft-asked, seldom-answered question, as I see taxpayer-subsidized homeless support, and even compassionate service to the homeless by charitable groups: If Boise provides world-class services and facilities for the chronically homeless, shouldn’t we expect an influx of homeless people from less-charitable places as word gets out?

    I’m not offering a solution, because I don’t know what it is.

    EDITOR NOTE–We agree there is no solution. Portland is using its tourist tax on rooms and rental cars for homeless issues.

  7. Logically dismissed? If there is evidence and the evidence caused the ticket to be written, then a motion to dismiss is not the right legal procedure. Seems like they could argue the law, but not the facts. The perps might be let go without jail time or fines, but the city must have written the tickets for a reason.

    They can’t write bad tickets, nor can they ignore law breakers. Flippy floppy wishy washy is not a good environment in the city legal department. Taxpayers expect and should get law enforcement.

    It all comes down to leadership and training, which I’ll bet the coppers and legal both think they don’t need.

    EDITOR NOTE–“Logically dismissed,” because the decision of the 9th circuit and U.S. Court in Boise stands. There is no further appeal since the Supremes refused to hear the case.

  8. Way off the mark
    Dec 17, 2019, 12:51 pm

    Someone sleeping on the street is doing so primarily because they are mentally ill and secondarily because they have developed chemical dependencies from self medication of said mental illness. Very rarely is a person long term homeless who is also sane and sober. Giving a ticket to a mentally ill addict is completely useless remedy of this root problem. It also clogs up the courts and jails ($$$). Our new mayor seems know this, but I remain skeptical when she says this is a “housing” problem. To say so is either ignorant or negligent.

    If St. Luke’s and St. Al’s really truly wanted to give back to the community which they take so much from in tax breaks, they could would should dedicate to preventing this problem from blooming in Boise with aggressive mental health care outreach in coordination with the police.

    Politicians! We are taking better care of people in other countries than we are the people of America. It is totally your fault. You are a bunch of selfish f-ing jerks.

  9. Forced “Air” (‘tho I think you’re pushing something more highly fibrous):

    “…in a word…”?

    Which word is that? “Hoax”? That pretty much encapsulates your entire offensive diatribe.

  10. “Way off the mark” is Right On the mark.

    Homelessness increased markedly under Reagan, when the mentally ill were turned out onto the streets.

    With concerted, enlightened effort, and the aid of our medical and religious centers Boise could show the way for similar-sized communities before the problem gets out of hand. It will take a new KIND of leadership from our politicians and police.

  11. Forced Air….you lost me at “former leftist” but I struggled on til I fell asleep midway through the third paragraph.

  12. A good building that could have easily provided shelter and meals is currently being raised by the Catholic Charities because you know…eyesore. I am talking about the former Mercy Medical Center that was vacated when St. Als, for selfish greed, built a new hospital in a location near I-84 in Nampa.

    Could have been converted to a multi-room homeless shelter for the area, but again selfish hate from their own organization and selfish politicians that demand a 5% pay increase per year to be competitive just don’t want to hear this type of solution.

    I, for one, am glad the Supreme court told Boise NO! Not holding my breath for any politician or even St. Luke’s and St. Als find a solution because they never believe they should invest in something that will cost them money.

  13. Bikeboy, thanks for the link to the great YouTube story. More than the story of Seattle, it may be the story of Rhode Island, where there is a solution being done- and seemingly it is working for one big segment of homeless people- addiction.

    We all pay for homelessness – in one way or another.
    We might as well collectively pay for a more efficient solution that offers help to desperate people.

  14. Federal Camps
    Dec 18, 2019, 2:16 pm

    Send the campers to the nearest Federal Property and see if they get a ticket or removed.

    Let’s send them all to the Federal Courthouse backyard.

  15. There is one step we can all take immediately. Stop giving to all beggars stationed on busy street corners and other strategic places. These people are not one-off folks who have fallen on hard times. I watched a van dropping off woman & child at the entrance to Costco lot and then move on to Lowes with another drop-off around the time these stores were to open. I quit following after Lowes but there were more people in the van. They have a term for the big-hearted folks who give to these phonies, they are ENABLERS, I call them FOOLS.

  16. There is more than one vehicle into homelessness?
    maybe we need to look at the vehicles we can help and do something about it!

  17. It seems I’ve got someone’s attention. The responses betray the usual dismissals as concern that some may actually agree or begin to consider that I might be telling the truth. I don’t say these things lightly. If your own cognitive dissonance prevents you from searching out for other explanations that are opposed to what you think you believe (as I used to do), then I can’t help that. You have to find your own paths.

    I thought I knew it all and was soooooo praised by others that followed my every word, because I was confirming their own biases, which were just programmed into them by popular media and this broken school system. It was not easy to break out from my own programming and actually consider that there were other explanations that resolved painful issues that we are facing. I just could no longer unsee what I was finally seeing. The blinders have to come off someday. That’s why you see people like Brandon Straka leading the Walkaway movement right now. Whether you like it or not, millions of people are waking up and walking away from their programming. I just hope the wakeup call hits Boise before we too find ourselves in a pile of syringes and feces.

    Solving the homeless issue can all be done with compassion. But until it is understood about how these problems are formed at their TRUE beginnings, will we get where we need to go.

  18. A Non E Moose
    Dec 20, 2019, 11:19 am
  19. Eamonn Harter
    Dec 23, 2019, 10:06 am

    I would gladly support ending the so-called “refugee” resettlement racket for foreigners and using those funds instead for our own native-born homeless population. The funds could go to such things as methadone clinics, mental health and alcohol abuse treatment, job training and housing subsidies. A disproportionate number of the homeless are military veterans who return home mentally and physically damaged.

  20. A Non E Moose

    Boilerplate guilt trope. I used to write that stuff for skits when I was a Leftist, for a internet based “radio show.” Passe.

    However, I totally agree. Housing must be built or afforded for homeless. Here’s how. Get a whoooooooole bunch of your friends together and chip in to a building fund to create the housing. It’s that simple. Do the whole thing at cost. Better yet, find builders to do it at THEIR cost. A fully privatized effort that doesn’t wait for government to do it. You just have to get the permits and locations approved.

    I explained this very concept to those that stuck with the Occupy Boise gang back in 2011, and ended up settling on the homeless issue as the last battle they would fight. I told them that waiting for government was a waste of time. If Bill Roscoe can do it, and everybody hates him because he’s a Christian, then why can’t atheists do it? Answer that and you solved the problem, or it would seem so.

  21. As to the misleading comment above– the number of veterans returning home mentally and physically damaged does not reflect the data or the common scenario.

    The VA studies have stated there is NOT a causal connection between between military service, or exposure to combat and resulting homelessness. Makes sense.

    RATHER, veteran homelessness is much like other homelessness- family background, access to family and friends support, and personal characteristics.

    A mentally/physically injured veteran has direct access to the VA medical program. One part of the VA medical care system is housing.

  22. unforced air
    Dec 26, 2019, 4:20 pm

    Wages – other expenses like food, is available for housing. If the CEO’s have to take it all there is no money for families. Families support families.

    This is statistically recorded. The earnings divide is bigger than ever because CEO’s take an exceptionally excessive amount more than they pay workers. Workers who provide that money.

    Forced Air – you could be more succinct. And use your time wisely.

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