Will Wildwood’s Saggy Pants Ban Really Be Enforced? [AUDIO]
After getting numerous complaints from local residents and tourists, officials in Wildwood have passed an ordinance that bans saggy pants hanging three or more inches below the waist.
Police will be instructed to approach those wearing very droopy pants on the boardwalk, and inform them about the new law, and then ask them to leave the boardwalk if they refuse to pull their pants up.
If an argument ensues, violators could be slapped with a summons.
The only question that remains is, is this really legal?
“It’s not a clear yes or no answer – what the future is of this law. But, if I had to take a bet, I think the Supreme Court justices may not uphold this law,” says noted New Jersey defense attorney Greg Gianforcaro.
He points out back in 1996 a similar type of case – involving someone wearing a tee shirt in school with a vulgar message- went before the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and the Court ruled, even though the message on the tee shirt could be considered vulgar, because it did not cause any disruption or disorder, the individuals were allowed to wear the item of clothing.
“As long as a style of pants does not cause disruption or disorder,” says Gianforcaro, “then basically the Constitution says with regard to expression – that you’re allowed to express yourself.”
He adds if a judge or judges become involved in this case, they’ll be looking at where the line should be drawn when it comes to all sorts of other freedom of expression cases.
But what happens if Wildwood argues that saggy pants are causing a type of disorder – a financial disorder in Wildwood – because they’re driving away tourists?
“Under the circumstances, you really would have to have convincing evidence to present to the justices that this really was a significant disruption. Are they losing 10,000 people, are they losing 500 people, or hundreds of thousands of people? Wildwood is a wonderful place to visit and this law has not been on the books in the past, and yet the public does go to Wildwood…so it’s hard to predict.”