Saturday, April 15, 2006

9th Circuit Strikes Again

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is unconstitutional for Los Angeles to enforce an ordinance prohibiting sleeping on public sidewalks, because it makes "the unavoidable act of sitting, lying or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless" a "crime."

This strikes me as very mushy thinking. Following the court's so-called logic, one could also say that a homeless, unemployed person who steals food is committing an "unavoidable act" while being "involuntarily unemployed," and that a law against hungry people stealing is "criminalizing hunger." After all, food is as necessary for survival as sleep, so stealing it might be "an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless."

This also begs the question, is it only unconstitutional to prohibit "involuntarily homeless" people from sleeping on sidewalks? It may be an absurd example, but what if someone isn't involuntarily homeless and just likes sleeping on sidewalks? Do the homeless now have a separate class of rights from the rest of us?

Monday Update: Welcome to readers of Stop the ACLU!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older