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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Paul Moyle. He gets the award for the following-

A judge says Riviera Beach's "saggy pants" law is unconstitutional in the case of a 17-year-old who spent a night in jail for having his underwear showing.

And a public defender said her office wants to get the law tossed altogether.

In Riviera Beach, the punishment for showing underwear or skin could range from community service to jail time.

Julius Hart was charged Wednesday when an officer spotted him riding his bicycle in the 2800 block of Lakeshore Drive with 4 to 5 inches of blue and black boxer shorts sticking out of his black pants.

A first offense carries a $150 fine or a requirement of community service; only habitual offenders face the possibility of jail time.

But, a report said, the charge against Hart meant a violation of his probation on a marijuana possession charge, so he went to jail.

"Somebody help me," Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle said.

"We're not talking about exposure of buttocks. No! We're talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear are apparently visible to a police officer who then makes an arrest and the basis is he's then held overnight, no bond. No bond!" the judge exclaimed.

"Your honor, we now have the fashion police," public defender Carol Bickerstaff said. "Our office really does intend to appeal this ordinance, which we believe is totally unconstitutional."

Moyle ruled the law unconstitutional "based on the limited facts of this case." Instead of issuing bail, the judge released Hart on his own recognizance.

Any one tell me where in the Florida state or federal constitution says someone has the right to wear their underwear on the outside? I guess I missed that in 11th grade AP American History.

Note- Last week I was in the mall and a young female(Not a lady) had her jeans so low you could see her butt crack. Still recovering my surgery, I couldn't speed up to get around her. So I got fully exposed as she walked 20 feet in front of me for about 1/3 the length of the mall before heading into the food court. It was then she pulled up her jeans briefly, only to have them sink again.

Underwear laws are, pardon the pun, assinine. On the other hand Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Moyle's legal decision has no basis in constitutional law, state or federal, and that is why I name him today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (8)

First Earmarks, now buttcra... (Below threshold)

First Earmarks, now buttcracks! Where will it all end?

If the judge had left him i... (Below threshold)

If the judge had left him in jail Julius would have fit right in. After all, that is where the underwear showing fad began. Prisoners aren't allowed belts, so their pants droop. What a great culture to emulate.

Hmmm I seem to recall there... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

Hmmm I seem to recall there is a reason you cannot appear in public without clothes or wearing clothes that are so scanty as to constant a distraction or problem. Do you consider those unreasonable as well?

There are many rules that wouldn't be required if people exercised good judgement. Unfortunately most people do not trouble themselves to use any judgement at all.

It's either Amendment IX or... (Below threshold)

It's either Amendment IX or Amendment X, which together state that the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution does not disparage other rights, and that powers not denied to the states or granted to the Federal government reside in the people or in the States. Unless the state constitution in Florida allows the ordinance, it would be reserved to the people to decide what clothes to wear.

So did anybody report what ... (Below threshold)

So did anybody report what Julius Hart did with his freedom? Go smoke a joint? Hold up a gas station? Just hang with his homies?

Don't let this clothing law distract us from the general state of our courts displayed here.

1. The kid was a parolee, but was nonetheless treated as royalty by the judge and public defender.

2. A Circuit Court judge presumes to rule on constitutionality of the law, when in fact he doesn't know his law well enough to know that his court doesn't have that jurisdiction.

What a maroon! (Bugs Bunny)

I think the judge was right... (Below threshold)

I think the judge was right. If the kid hadn't had on pants, his boxer shorts (if the kind with a sewn-up fly) wouldn't have been illegal or obscene.

It's not the same as the girl with the buttcrack showing. That, I can see being a violation.

Making a big deal about this just keeps it in fashion a bit longer. It's better to laugh at them when either they or their pants fall down.

I don't care for the fad ei... (Below threshold)

I don't care for the fad either....


The Constitution (be it State or Federal) should not have to specifically state I have a right. It should state what rights the government has and any thing not listed as a government right is left to the people.

While I personally would tell someone to pull up their pants I agree with the law being stupid. And I sure as hell disagree with the position that if the Constitution doesn't say I can do it then I can't do it. THAT is a bonehead position to take.

Dooz: Think you're wrong a... (Below threshold)

Dooz: Think you're wrong about jurisdiction, you can certainly challenge the federal constitutionality of a state law in that state's courts.

While I'm annoyed by the saggy pants, I don't think it's our government's job to control that. I'm also annoyed by guys wearing baseball hats crooked, sideways. etc., but take it as a sign of my inevitable slide into being an old guy. People get more naked at the beach, and this law might put plumbers out of business.

There are many ways for a law to be unconstitutional - the law could be worded poorly and be overreaching or vague, it could impinge on due process, or it could discriminate against a protected group (I don't think thugs qualify for that last one, thankfully). That's just a few of the ways.

Keep the government out of our private lives - they don't need to be the fashion police. Hell, our economy might still be fine if they had stayed out of the mortgage business. Smaller government rah rah rah! give me a road to get to work, and cops and firemen to protect me from guns and fire. I think I can protect myself from baggy pants .

Free market forces will correct this dumbass by denying his baggy-pants a** a decent job for being a slob. Soon, he won't be able to afford new pants and will get fat on the government cheese, so that the baggy pants then "fit". Maybe that was his plan all along, and he was just buying "ahead".






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