Friday, February 13, 2009

Homeless may win round one
as city considers overturning its camping ordinance

A homeless man sleeps on Main Beach in Laguna Beach. The ACLU recently sued the city Beach for treating disabled homeless people like criminals and cited ticketing homeless people for illegal lodging in public places as one of their concerns.

Laguna Beach may soon revoke a 1920s era ordinance prohibiting nighttime camping in public areas, following a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union contending the law unconstitutionally restricted the rights of the homeless.

Though the Southern California city says it has refrained from enforcing the measure after opting to reconsider it last February, the ACLU suit contends that Laguna Beach police have used the law to harass and conduct unwarranted searches on the transient population.

Read the Orange County Register report here. And see previous post here.

Counterpount: A column in The Wall Street Journal argues that the lawsuit subverts the broad public interest, arrived at democratically, in favor of judge-created rights conferred on favored victim groups. Read the column here.


At 11:03 AM, Blogger Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida said...

The issue of criminalizing homelessness was also an issue in Tampa, FL during this years' "Big Game," when officials were accused of sweeping the streets and giving homeless a night in jail to keep them away from visiting crowds.

The national awareness springing from stories such as these is intriguing.

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