Seattle joined by more than a dozen others – including International
Municipal Lawyers Association, National League of Cities, National
League of Counties – filed amicus.
Seattle (Sept. 25, 2023) – Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison today announced an amicus brief, joined by several governmental entities and organizations, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review in the case of Johnson v. City of Grants Pass, 72 F.4th 868 (9th Cir. 2023).
In Johnson v. Grants Pass, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a permanent injunction that enjoined, or stopped, a city ordinance enforcing public camping prohibitions unless the city first provides shelter beds for each homeless individual in the jurisdiction.
“The 9th Circuit’s decision in this case strips local authority from a complex problem,” said City Attorney Davison. “Local officials know what their community needs and what unique obstacles face those experiencing homelessness in their region. The amicus brief filed today asks the Supreme Court to review caselaw, as applied by federal courts, and restore the authority of local elected officials. Local governments must be allowed to create laws that suit their region’s specific needs.
“It should be among our top moral priorities to help the unhoused move into permanent housing,” said City Attorney Davison. “But a one-size-fits-all legal approach will not create effective solutions for every community. In today’s amicus, I ask that local autonomy be restored to our elected decision makers to appropriately direct resources to our homelessness crisis.”
In addition to the City of Seattle, 18 local governments and governmental organizations have signed onto the brief, including the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties. Similar amicus filings have been made in several West Coast locations, including last Friday’s filing by the State of California in support of Grants Pass.
The term amicus refers to a “friend of the court,” a status that allows interested persons and entities to share their perspective regarding a legal issue under consideration by the court.