Courthouse Steps Decision: City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson

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City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson raised the question of whether the sections of the Grants Pass Municipal Code which prohibit sleeping/camping on public property like parks and streets constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. The codes in question only impose civil penalties, which can, in certain circumstances develop into criminal penalties. After the Ninth Circuit's 2022 decision holding that the codes violated the Eighth Amendment, the Supreme Court granted cert, and oral argument was heard on April 22, 2024.

On June 28, 2024 a 6-3 Court issued its decision, reversing the Ninth Circuit.

Join us for a Courthouse Steps program where we break down and analyze the decision of this interesting case at the intersection of Criminal Law, Federalism and Separation of Powers, and Property rights.


  • Vikrant P. Reddy, Senior Fellow, Stand Together Trust


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.