Virginians May Be Fined For Low-Cut Pants

Underwear Police? Virginians May Be Fined For Low-Cut Pants (WNBC)

A Norfolk, Va., legislator says the droopy-drawers bill may be his legacy. The Virginia House of Delegates has tentatively approved a bill to crack down on people who wear low-riding pants. Freshman Norfolk Delegate Algie Howell Jr. introduced the bill at the urging of constituents who are offended by the exposed underwear. Howell said, “That’s why they’re called undergarments. They’re supposed to be worn under something else.”

Delegates approved a measure that would allow police to assess a $50 fine on anyone who exposes their below-waist underpants in a “lewd or indecent manner.”

I’m just glad I live in a state where there are no more pressing issues than this.

Update (1550 2-9): Somehow, this is now about race rather than merely asinity:

Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., a Democrat who opposed the bill, had pleaded with his colleagues to remember their own youthful fashion follies. During an extended monologue Monday, he talked about how they dressed or wore their hair in their teens. On Tuesday, he said the measure was an unconstitutional attack on young blacks that would force parents to take off work to accompany their children to court just for making a fashion statement. “This is a foolish bill, Mr. Speaker, because it will hurt so many,” Spruill said before the measure was approved 60-34. It now goes to the state Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Del. Algie T. Howell, has said constituents were offended by the exposed underwear. He did not speak on the floor Tuesday.

Spruill and Howell, also a Democrat, are both black.

So, it’s a bill that unfairly targets black people. And its chief sponsor is a black man. Hmm.

Update: Asininity. Heh. No pun intended.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Law and the Courts, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Gee, I’m deeply offended by legislators who sponsor (1) “nannie” bills, (2) stupid bills, (3) trivial bills, etc. I think Virginia needs a law banning legislative stupidity and assessing a significant fine for each offense.

  2. McGehee says:

    Howell said, “That’s why they’re called undergarments. They’re supposed to be worn under something else.”

    Well now, that’s some spiffy logic there. I guess all that copy paper I bought to use in my printer will have to be returned to the store, or else I need to buy me a copier.

  3. Michael says:

    Next in Virginia: Legislation to forbid using Miracle Whip Salad Dressing on a sandwich!

  4. Mark says:

    Think on the bright side: if they would not have plugged an insane loophole then we could have joked that Virginia did not allow people to show their underwear in public, but people could still secretly videotape underneath someone’s skirt. Talk about a joke then…

  5. melvin toast says:

    This is clearly simple common sense and the first
    step in the right direction. I support this and
    other legislation aimed at protecting the public
    welfare. I also support bills regulating the use
    of spandex and forbidding belly exposing clothing for anyone more than 10lbs over their guidline
    body weight.