Pants-Sagger Law Challenged

Teens want fashion police off their backs

The South Florida war against sagging pants rolls on but the strict laws against droopy-drawered youths may get a little tougher to enforce if lawyers in Riviera Beach get their way.

The small beachfront town passed an ordinance last year making it illegal to wear low-hanging pants that reveal underwear or skin, and over a dozen youngsters have been charged with violating the law.

But last week the law was challenged by two assistant public defenders on constitutional grounds, who argued that it violated freedom of expression and due process, according to the New York Times.

To bolster their argument, the lawyers brought in fashion designer Chelsea Rousso, a fashion instructor at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale.

“It started out as an expressive concept, and it went mainstream,” Rousso said. “A lot of people picked up on it, with the social ramifications that went with it.”

Rousso used photos of David Beckham, Zac Efron and Prince Harry sagging to illustrate her point.

Riviera Mayor Thomas Masters didn't agree with the fashionista.

“I think society has the right to draw the line,” Masters said.

The fashion police have enacted laws across the country to curtail saggy-bottomed teens in public, in places like Lynwood, Illinois and Flint, Michigan, but South Florida is tackling the issue head-on. Plantation High school held a "Pull Up Your Pants Day" last month, inspired by Barack Obama's MTV interview last year in which he said "brothers should pull up their pants."

The Riviera Beach issue will have final arguments on April 22.

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