ACLU calls saggy pants ordinances “unconstitutional” - KLFY News 10

ACLU calls saggy pants ordinances “unconstitutional”

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Monday, the Vermilion Parish Police Jury passed an ordinance outlawing the exposure of undergarments in all rural areas and public buildings. Nicknamed the "saggy pants" ordinance, violators could face fines as high as $500 and/or jail time. Several parishes and municipalities have similar ordinances, but the American Civil Liberties Union calls them all unconstitutional.

Majorie Esman, Executive Director of the New Orleans' ACLU affiliate explained, "There is a constitutionally protected liberty interest for people wearing the clothes that they want to wear,"

She further explained that clothing specific ordinances violate people's freedom and could lead to racial profiling.

"I know people say it's not racially motivated and that may be true but it is also true that the people that get cited are often young African-American men,"

In Lafayette Parish, Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux (District 4) said he has had several community members approach him about heading up a similar ordinance. He said he is not a fan of the style, but also does not believe it to be a government issue.

"I could come up with at least three or four things that could be offensive to the eyesight. Do we start passing laws for everything that people say we don't like the way it appears?"

Esman agreed, "As long as they don't violate the state's obscenity laws which clearly define obscenity as showing certain body parts,"

Boudreaux adds that it could be challenging for law enforcement to police a matter. He explained that while he is not slamming any parish for passing their choice of law, he would not support legislating someone's behavior or fashion choice.

Esman went on to say that she believes resources could be better spent somewhere else

"Let young people be young people. This too shall pass. Every generation has clothing that their elders don't like and that's just the way it is."

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