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Dunn city attorney: Saggy pants ban is unconstitutional

Posted September 11, 2012

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— Issuing fines to people wearing saggy pants is unconstitutional, Dunn City Attorney P. Tilghman Pope said Tuesday evening as the City Council geared up to vote on a proposed ban of the fashion statement.

In July, Mayor Pro Tem Carnell Robinson proposed an ordinance banning saggy pants in an effort to clean up the city's image. Now he plans to lobby the North Carolina General Assembly and local lawmakers to see what can be done about men who wear their pants so low that their underwear is visible.

He also hopes to enact a ban on saggy pants in public schools. A similar ordinance was recently adopted on a statewide level in Tennessee.

Under Robinson's initial proposal, the first two violations would result in a warning. The third time, violators could face a fine of up to $200.

After a month of research, Pope sided with dozens of the ban's opponents, who showed up to a Aug. 15 council meeting, prompting hours of lively debate.

He said a ban on saggy pants would be hard to enforce and, in his opinion, is unconstitutional. The North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union has made similar arguments against the proposed ordinance. 

The proposal was drafted based on a similar ordinance in Tuscumbia, Ala., one of several small towns in the country that has successfully banned saggy pants.

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  • Vietnam Vet Sep 13, 2012

    I think it's just plain funny! I get the bigest kick out of seeing these guys trying to look cool and at the same time holding a cell phone in one hand and trying to hold up their pants with the other...Dude, get pants that fit or at least some suspenders or a belt!! Your underwear isn't a fashion statement!

  • torchhappysean Sep 13, 2012

    what ever would make you think people would wear the horrror that is fashion today to work, oh wait, you think the a company mandates your "leisure" wear? nope doesn't work that way, but it does annoy you, so the young people have been sucessful...
    soyousay....
    So does this mean that they are going to have two wardrobes??? One for work and one for "leisure"?? Not very many average wage floks can afford that luxury... Can you??

  • soyousay Sep 13, 2012

    its their ignorance--and apparently there is more than enough of that being shown..

    you are absolutely correct- ignorance of the constitional right to wear tacky clothes...oh wait...

  • josephlawrence43 Sep 13, 2012

    Lets go ahead and let these idioten wander around in public showing their underwear--its more then underwear that is showing--its their ignorance--and apparently there is more than enough of that being shown.

  • soyousay Sep 12, 2012

    Please tell me who would want their company image projected in that fashion??? ..

    what ever would make you think people would wear the horrror that is fashion today to work, oh wait, you think the a company mandates your "leisure" wear? nope doesn't work that way, but it does annoy you, so the young people have been sucessful

  • soyousay Sep 12, 2012

    what's indecent? been to a beach lately? a mall...heywalk past victoria' place in the mall. You really really, really, really want someone else making your decisions for you?

  • soyousay Sep 12, 2012

    if the underwear is showing, charge them with indecent exposure. no brainer!
    ..

    actually it does take a few functioning upper neurons-- what is underwear? what is showing? how much do you want to pay for the fashion police. Sounds so very taliban to me.

  • Relic Sep 12, 2012

    Legislating dress in public that doesn't violate laws such as indecent exposure will not stand up in court. It is a "slippery slope". What next? Cary outlawing sandals? Raleigh outlawing Nikes? Businesses can barely enforce their own dress codes without being threatened with lawsuits because clothing like saggy pants are "associated with certain racial and ethnic groups".

  • Realthoughts Sep 12, 2012

    So is there a personal/medical reason for wearing pants down to your knees? Does a person need more air? Should you be wearing a dress or kilt instead?

  • torchhappysean Sep 12, 2012

    I can't help but wonder how the saggy pants supporters expect to get a job with their pants dropped to their knees... Please tell me who would want their company image projected in that fashion??? Not to mention how the saggy pants employee is going to manage to accomplish their job when they can seem to walk without holding their pants up with one hand....

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