Tags: baggy | pants | ban

Florida Judge Overturns Baggy Pants Ban

Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 08:24 PM

By Dan Weil

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Baggy points may not look attractive, but a Palm Beach County, Fl. judge ruled Wednesday that it’s unconstitutional to ban people from wearing them.

The city of Riviera Beach enacted a prohibition against the rebellious fashion statement last year, after 72 percent of voters approved a measure to do so.

The law prohibits people from appearing in public with pants below the waist, exposing skin or underwear. Violators were subject to fines and then jail if they didn’t pay up.

But County Judge Laura Johnston ruled that no matter how "tacky or distasteful" sagging pants may be, the 14th Amendment of the constitution forbids a ban. That’s because there’s no legitimate government interest in the pants legislation, she says.The city enacted the ban to improve its image. The police also object to baggy pants, because they allow criminals to hide weapons in them.The saga may not be over. Matthew Russell, an attorney for the city, told The Palm Beach Post, "That's not the end of it, unless my city says to drop it at this point."City Mayor Thomas Masters, who supported the law, says he will ask residents in town hall and community gatherings whether they want the city to pursue an appeal.Cities in Michigan and Louisiana also have passed saggy pants bans, and President Obama told MTV that “brothers should pull up their pants,” though he says laws on the issue are unnecessary.

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