The North Carolina Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has taken notice, indicating that the ordinance could get into “dicey legal territory” including potentially running afoul of the First Amendment as well as prohibitions against “racial profiling.” Of note, we understand that similar “saggy pants” laws have run into significant legal obstacles in other jurisdictions. In 2007, Georgia’s ACLU Chapter challenged a proposed state “sagging pants” law, claiming the law could lead to racial profiling. And in 2008, a Florida court struck down a similar municipal ordinance as unconstitutional.
The proposed ordinance, which would likely carry a fine but no jail time, is scheduled for consideration before the Town Board of Commissioners on November 9.
***UPDATE Nov. 16, 2010 UPDATE***
Mike Thelen is an associate in Womble Carlyle’s Real Estate and Real Estate Litigation practice groups. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients in land use issues, from local governments to businesses, in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.
Categories: Constitutional Issues