Saggy pants law unconstitutional?

May 8, 2009 at 12:15 AM
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NASHVILLE, May 8 (UPI) -- The Tennessee attorney general has notified legislators that a proposed law banning low-riding pants may be unconstitutionally vague.

The proposed law, known as the Saggy Pants bill, would penalize people who wear pants in public that reveal bare buttocks or underwear, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Thursday.

"The proposed legislation is arguably constitutionally vague, because it does not set forth a standard for its violation that may be readily understood," the office of Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. said. "If passed, the legislation could also be vulnerable to constitutional attack on substantive due process grounds because it arguably interferes with a liberty interest to dress as one chooses."

Rep. Karen Camper, a Memphis Democrat who appears to have doubts about the bill, requested the opinion. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Joe Towns and Sen. Ophelia Ford, who are also Democrats from Memphis.

Cooper's opinion is advisory, not binding, the newspaper said.

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