By a split 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled that arresting the homeless for sitting, lying or sleeping in public streets or sidewalks constitutes cruel and inhuman treatment violative of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Writing for the majority, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw (appointed by President Clinton in 1998) reversed the District Court and held that the City of Los Angeles could not enforce its municipal code against the homeless sleeping in the streets. Edward C. Reed, Jr., Senior United States District Judge for the District of Nevada, sitting by designation, joined in Judge Wardlaw's opinion. (Reed was appointed by President Carter in 1979.)
Judge Pamela Ann Rymer (appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989) dissented.
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