Category Archives: Civil Rights

Food-Sharing Ordinance in Dallas Revised

On Wednesday, December 10, the Law Center formally settled our long-standing litigation with the city of Dallas, over the city’s ordinance imposing unreasonable burdens on religious and other nonprofit organizations seeking to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.  … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Rights, Criminalization, Human Rights, Hunger | Leave a comment

No Safe Place: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities

Imagine living in a place where it is illegal to sleep, sit, lie down, or share food outdoors. Imagine that this is a place where you are often ignored or rejected by your fellow townspeople, police officers, and local elected … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Rights, Criminalization | 3 Comments

Countering Criminalization: Constitutional Challenges Under the Fourteenth Amendment

This is the part six of our Countering Criminalization blog series, examining Constitutional Challenges and Constructive Alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees all Americans due process and equal protection of the laws. States and cities cannot … Continue reading

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Countering Criminalization: Constitutional Challenges Under the Eighth Amendment

This is the part five of our Countering Criminalization blog series, examining Constitutional Challenges and Constructive Alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness. With national and local shortages of affordable housing and shelter beds, people experiencing homelessness are frequently left with … Continue reading

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Countering Criminalization: Constitutional Challenges Under the Fourth Amendment

This is the part four of our Countering Criminalization blog series, examining Constitutional Challenges and Constructive Alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness. One of the basic rights that Americans enjoy every day is security against unreasonable searches and seizures. We … Continue reading

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Countering Criminalization: Constitutional Challenges Under the First Amendment – Free Exercise of Religion

This is part three of our Countering Criminalization blog series, examining Constitutional Challenges and Constructive Alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness. Caring for people in need is a core element of many people’s religious beliefs. Some religious organizations may express this … Continue reading

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Countering Criminalization: Constitutional Challenges Under the First Amendment – Freedom of Speech

This is the part two of our Countering Criminalization blog series, examining Constitutional Challenges and Constructive Alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness. In some cities, homeless people are fined and even arrested for sitting or lying down in public spaces, … Continue reading

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Believing the Unbelievable: Sharing a Model for Domestic Human Rights Implementation

Yesterday was a day I believed would come for human rights, but now that it’s happened, it’s still hard to believe. I was asked by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to come to a meeting they were hosting together with … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Rights, Criminalization, Domestic Violence, Human Rights | 1 Comment

Criminalization of Homelessness: From Europe to Eugene

In November, 2012, the Hungarian Constitutional Court won international acclaim when it struck down a law that criminalized homelessness. That acclaim turned to condemnation as the lead political party responded by changing the Constitution to condone local authorities who criminally … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Rights, Human Rights | 1 Comment

Homeless Bills of Rights Gaining Momentum Across the Country

While cities across the nation consider and pass laws against panhandling,  sitting or lying in public places, and other measures which criminalize homelessness, lawmakers in Connecticut and Illinois are following Rhode Island’s lead in passing legislation to protect homeless individuals from discrimination. … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Rights | 9 Comments