Pull up your pants or face a fine

March 30, 2012
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One northern Indiana town is considering an ordinance that would require people to wear their pants a certain way.

Merrillville officials have discussed banning people from wearing saggy pants in public. It’s not a novel idea – several cities and towns across the country have banned the style. In Albany, Ga., city officials say that an ordinance banning saggy pants – defined as pants or skirts worn more than three inches below the top of hips – has netted nearly $4,000 in fines from 187 citations. Albany instituted its ban in November 2010.

Officials seeking to ban the style apparently aren’t fans of the look – often pants are worn so low that most of one’s underwear is shown and a belt is needed to keep the pants in place. I’ve also seen people holding up their pants with one hand as they walk. What people will do for fashion!

There are concerns that if a ban is adopted, it could be challenged as unconstitutional. Some worry that bans could be imposed on other styles of dress.

What do you think – should a town be able to dictate how its residents dress?
 

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  • Whole heartedly - I agree!
    Yes a city can dictate how its citizens dress if how they dress offends laws of the city. I think that wearing your pants so low that you can see your underwear is indecent exposure, which I believe is against the law. If that attitude was taken when it first started as a fashion statement we may not be talking about this issue now. Just like wearing a dress so short I can see your underwear or cut so low I can see far more breast that I care to.
  • no problem
    Every affront to decency and every style adopted by criminals is not per se a constituttional violation. Only fools believe or espouse that.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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