supreme court
Toma, Petersen Cheer Supreme Court Decision To Hear Homeless Case

January 18, 2024

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s leading legislative Republicans are cheering on the nation’s high court as it agreed to hear arguments in a significant case of interest to the state.

Earlier this month, the General Counsel for the Arizona House Republicans, Linley Wilson, announced that the Supreme Court of the United States had granted cert in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson and Logan. Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma had filed an amicus brief at the Court in September 2023 in the matter concerning “three homeless individuals in Grants Pass (who) filed this lawsuit to try to stop local and state governments from combating the public safety threats, the public health dangers, and the inhumane conditions associated with these homeless encampments.”

The city had received unfavorable opinions from the federal courts at both the district and appeals (Ninth Circuit) levels, leading to the appeal to the nation’s high court.

In their brief, Petersen and Toma asserted that “the Legislature also has a pressing interest in homelessness because it confronts the realities of America’s homelessness crisis every day, including only a few blocks from the state capitol complex. Phoenix, Arizona, is home to one of the nation’s largest homeless encampments, commonly known as ‘The Zone.’ With hundreds of homeless residents, The Zone is a place of intense poverty, frequent crime (including multiple homicides), social instability, and poor living standards.”

The lawmakers also opined, “the Ninth Circuit decided it was better at making policy than elected state legislatures and city councils.” They argued the opinion from the Ninth Circuit “injects the federal courts into a policymaking area reserved for state and local lawmakers, entrenches a plainly incorrect and deeply damaging construction of the Eighth Amendment, and improperly interferes with state and local policymaking on the critically important issue of homelessness.”

Wilson previously pointed to a social media post from California Governor Gavin Newsom about the issue of federal courts inserting case law into “local efforts to clear street encampments,” stating, “This humanitarian crisis is not a partisan issue. The 9th Circuit’s opinions harm the homeless and the Legislature’s ability to craft effective policies.”

According to Amy Howe of SCOTUS Blog, this case will likely be heard before the Court in April.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Get FREE News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Corporate media seeks stories that serve its own interests. But you deserve to know what’s really going on in your community. Stay up to date on the latest in Arizona by signing up to get FREE news delivered to your inbox.

You May Also Like …

Connect with us!


A project of the Arizona Freedom Foundation  |  All Rights Reserved 2024  |  Code of Ethics  |  Privacy Policy

Share This