America is Watching Riviera Beach's Ass, Laws

sagging pants.jpg

There was a fantastic piece in The New York Times yesterday from former New Times managing editor Edmund Newton about a Riviera Beach law banning droopy drawers.

The ordinance, passed last year with over 70% voter support, makes it illegal to wear pants low enough to reveal skin or underwear. Since last July 15-20 men have been charged.

From the story:

Mayor Thomas Masters, a Baptist minister, said in an interview that Riviera Beach voters "just got tired of having to look at people's behinds or their undergarments," but the public defenders argued that sagging pants were a constitutionally protected expression of identity.

Their star witness was Chelsea Rousso, a former New York fashion designer who is now a fashion instructor at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

Ms. Rousso, 48, looking uptown chic on the witness stand in a three-quarter-length embroidered jacket and a knit black dress by Ellen Tracy, conceded that sagging pants were not for her. They look "uncomfortable," she said, and "comfort is very important in the things I wear."

The court will hear final arguments April 22.

Incidentally, this is what happens when you wear your pants too low in prison. From MSNBC's Lock-Up: "You sag your pants in here, man, somebody'll be up in your butt. And it's just that simple."

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