Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No saggy, baggy pants

I guess its a "Freedom of Speech" issue.

I mean really. Wonder why not?

Seeing guys wearing their pants this way speaks volumes to me about them.

What about old men in saggy, baggy slacks?

Judge: Riviera Beach 'saggy pants' ban unconstitutional
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

RIVIERA BEACH — A judge says Riviera Beach's "saggy pants" law is unconstitutional in the case of a 17-year-old who spent a night in jail for having his underwear showing.
And a public defender said her office wants to get the law tossed altogether.

Julius Hart was charged Wednesday when an officer spotted him riding his bicycle in the 2800 block of Lakeshore Drive with 4 to 5 inches of blue and black boxer shorts sticking out of his black pants.

A first offense carries a $150 fine or a requirement of community service; only habitual offenders face the possibility of jail time.

But, a report said, the charge against Hart meant a violation of his probation on a marijuana possession charge, so he went to jail.

"Somebody help me," Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle said.
"We're not talking about exposure of buttocks. No! We're talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear are apparently visible to a police officer who then makes an arrest and the basis is he's then held overnight, no bond. No bond!" the judge exclaimed.

"Your honor, we now have the fashion police," public defender Carol Bickerstaff said. "Our office really does intend to appeal this ordinance, which we believe is totally unconstitutional."
Moyle ruled the law unconstitutional "based on the limited facts of this case." Instead of issuing bail, the judge released Hart on his own recognizance.

Asked how this will affect the law overall, Riviera Beach's city attorney deferred to the police legal counsel and the mayor, Bishop Thomas Masters. Masters referred calls to city spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown, who said the city hadn't yet seen the ruling and couldn't comment.

Technically, the charge is not yet dropped; a new arraignment is set for Oct. 5.
"The first time I saw this particular fashion, I disliked it, and then I realized I'm getting old," Bickerstaff told the judge.

"You can have Speedo underwear, which is way less than boxer shorts, and that is perfectly legal, but boxer shorts, with pants over them, is not?" Moyle asked.
Bickerstaff quipped, "It's like a Monty Python skit."

City voters had approved the law in March by a 72 percent tally, after Masters lobbied heavily for it, helping collect 4,769 signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

The saggy pants fad surfaced in jail, when juvenile offenders wore overly large prison garb that sagged, exposing their underwear. It later became a fashion statement among rappers and remains popular in urban communities across the country.