(UnitedVoice.com) – In January 2022, homeless people began creating an encampment outside of the Idaho capital in Boise to protest the lack of affordable housing. The issue became a political flashpoint in the state. But after a fierce battle, the state scored a victory.
On January 9, US District Court Judge David Nye ruled for the state of Idaho in the battle over the homeless encampment. The state asked the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of activists who were protesting Governor Brad Little’s (R) decision to remove the tents from the Capital Annex, claiming it violated their constitutional rights.
Nye ruled the plaintiffs had a lack of standing. Additionally, he explained the 11th Amendment protects the state from federal lawsuits unless the plaintiff can prove the state is violating its own laws. He said the homeless protesters were “conflat[ing] and confus[ing] the issues […] coupled with lean factual meat,” which led to him dismissing the lawsuit.
In a statement, the governor celebrated the victory, saying the leaders of Democratic cities like Portland and San Franciso are “engaged in failed experiments to permit and encourage unsafe and destructive public camping.” He went on to applaud Idaho’s strategy to fight back against the protesters, saying his state was obligated to protect public safety and health.
The people of Idaho expect our streets to be CLEAN and SAFE.
We took action against the illegal public encampment AND WON because the drugs, human waste, violence, and destruction of public property were unacceptable. https://t.co/pH05lUzn5K
— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) January 26, 2023
The protest by the homeless people last year went on for about three months. They were reportedly angry about rising rent prices in the state and the failure of leaders to do anything about it. According to statistics, roughly 44% of those who are living on the streets nationwide are employed but can’t afford housing.
The governor, however, argued that the encampment made it less safe, saying needles and other things were found while the camp was there. Little said the ruling has made it clear, “Idaho does not tolerate illegal public encampments” or anyone destroying public property.
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