Legislative action must follow SCOTUS homeless decision

Legislative Action Must Follow Supreme Court’s Common-Sense Grants Pass v. Johnson Decision
By Oregon Senate Republican Office,

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Senate Republicans celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision in the Grants Pass v. Johnson case, a ruling that stands as a victory for the rule of law and the well-being of our communities. This decision recognizes the critical need for local governments to manage public spaces effectively, ensuring safety and order for all citizens.

The Court’s ruling supports the City of Grants Pass’s right to enforce ordinances that prevent public spaces from becoming unsafe and unsanitary. By upholding these regulations, the Court has validated the efforts of municipalities to protect their communities while safety and dignity of people experiencing homelessness.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, in a recent KGW interview, emphasized the need for legislative action: “Unless the legislature decides to revisit the law that HB 3115 enacted, no one in Portland is going to see sweeping policy changes after the Supreme Court issues its decision.”

HB 3115 (2021) was a reactionary piece of legislation by Democrats in response to a misguided court opinion by the Ninth Circuit. This law has suffocated local jurisdictions’ efforts to keep their communities safe. It is essential that the Legislature acts promptly to ensure state laws align with the Supreme Court’s decision, allowing for sensible, community-focused solutions that maintain public safety and health without infringing on individual rights.

“Despite the Supreme Court’s common sense ruling today, Democrats’ ‘Right to Camp’ law will continue to hamper local governments’ ability to address homelessness effectively,” said Senate Republican Leader Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles). “The Legislature should immediately provide clarity to our local governments as they work to reduce homelessness in their communities by taking action on HB 3115. This time, cities and counties that are most affected should be at the table, leading the discussions on what is best for their local jurisdictions. We stand ready to pass legislation that balances the interests of all residents – whether they are in a home or seeking shelter, utilizing both compassion and pragmatism to ensure our public spaces are safe, clean, and accessible for everyone.”