April 23, 2009

Judge tosses saggy pants ordinance

A Florida judge has tossed a town's ordinance that made wearing pants below the waist an offense punishable with a fine.

Palm Beach County Judge Laura Johnson ruled Riviera Beach's ordinance against saggy pants -- which was approved by 72 percent of city voters in a March 2008 referendum -- is unconstitutional, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.

Johnson ruled that wearing saggy pants -- defined in the ordinance as wearing pants below the waist while exposing skin or underwear -- is protected under the liberties guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, no matter how tacky or distasteful the fashion choice may be, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported.

The ordinance, which took effect in July, allowed police to issue a $150 fine to first-time saggy pants wearers and a $300 fine for repeat offenders.