If there are things that are common to see in public that you don’t like, it can sometimes be hard to avoid them. But, if you’re a lawmaker, you can conveniently propose a law banning that certain thing. Though this may seem like a slightly extreme stance to take, it is exactly the stance that a group of lawmakers in South Carolina are taking right now. A group of these lawmakers are proposing a ban on saggy pants that will fine those caught exhibiting such styles.
This is not a joke. It is a real law that is being proposed in the state of South Carolina by a supposedly bipartisan group of ten members of the South Carolina House of Representatives. WCIV reported that the ban was entirely serious and relied on a very specific definition of what constitutes “illegally saggy pants.”
For the lawmakers, it is about the length of sag below the hips. The proposal is quoted as saying that “three inches below the crest of the ileum” is too far, and anyone appearing in public with these saggy pants would be subject to a fine from the police. Some have pointed out that the “ileum” is actually part of the intestine, and the lawmakers likely mean to refer to the “ilium” – that is, part of the hip bone.
The fine for such an offense is not negligible. The first offense would run the offender $25 in a ticket, while the second offense would be $50 or three hours of community service. Any offenses after the first two would be a $75 fine or six hours of community service. Though the penalties are monetarily steep, the offense would not be considered a criminal one.
This means that no records would be kept of who is being fined and the offenses would not appear on any criminal record for the offender – which makes sense.
The members of the South Carolina House of Representatives proposing this bill are 10, including seven Democrats. They met on February 15 to draw up the law and send it on, when it was finished, to the judiciary committee. One of their number, Republican Wendell Gillard is quoted as saying,
“the pants are now being worn below the knees,” and he also mentioned that he has seen “all creeds and races” wearing pants in this manner. “
If a female were to go around in the same fashion, pants down by their ankles or below the waist, we would see this as indecent exposure,” he added. Gillard and several other supporters of the law failed to respond to further questions about the bill.
Shaundra Young Scott, of the ACLU, was quick to condemn the ridiculous bill and called it “frivolous” and “a waste of taxpayer’s money.
” “We would hope that our elected legislators are working on more important issues and causes that enhance the economic viability and increase protections for all South Carolinians,” said Scott.
“Instead, our lawmakers are making and introducing bills to criminalize sagging pants, which will disproportionately affect minorities in communities and schools, as opposed to allocating funds to update voting machines that are over 13 years old.