Monday, December 16, 2019

Sagging Jeans and Prison Time

Today’s New York Times Fashion & Style section contains an interesting story concerning baggy and sagging jeans and how they can land the person wearing them, i.e. the trendsetter, in jail.

Citing indecency laws, the state of Louisiana has passed ordinances where “the style” carries a fine of as much as $500 or up to a six-month sentence. The NY Times adds that in the West Ward of Trenton, Councilwoman Annette Lartigue is drafting an ordinance to fine or enforce community service in response to what she sees as the problem of exposing private parts in public.


(Mei-Chun Jau/Dallas Morning News — Associated Press)

As usual, the ACLU has weighed in in their customary fashion, siding with the pro-fashionista turned defendant. The ACLU argues that these ordinances infringe on First Amendment free speech protections because “the intention is to single out and label one style of dress that originated with the black youth culture, as an unacceptable form of expression.” The obvious ACLU argument here is that this is a content-based restriction not presently allowed by First Amendment law. However, having failed in their previous approach, the states of Louisiana and Virginia are now focusing their arguments and laws on indecency laws and right to privacy.

For more on this story, click on the NY Times’ Fashion & Style section. If you need a login name and password, please use the following to facilitate access.

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