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Federal Government Says It's Unconstitutional to Ban Sleeping in Public

Aug 13, 2015

The U.S. Department of Justice says that banning people from sleeping in public could be a violation of their constitutional rights.

The Washington Post delved deep into a statement of interest filed by the Justice Department in a case out of Boise, Idaho. In Boise, lawmakers enacted a ban on sleeping in public—something the Justice Department says could be in violation of a person's Eighth Amendment Rights.

"Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity — i.e., it must occur at some time in some place," the Justice Department argues. "If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless."

The strong statement comes amid a flurry of laws that ban sleeping or camping in public, even as shelters across the U.S. struggle to maintain enough beds to shelter those without a place to call home.

Read more at the Washington Post

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