tag: North Carolina Land Use Litigator: Free Expression: Town "Drops" Prohibition on Sagging Pants and Internet Sweepstakes Soldier On

Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 10:18 AM

Free Expression: Town "Drops" Prohibition on Sagging Pants and Internet Sweepstakes Soldier On

It's been a busy month in North Carolina for proponents of free expression.

Just the other week, as we've blogged before here and here, a state court issued an Order striking down as unconstitutional a portion of a state law prohibiting certain internet sweepstakes games. Specifically, the state court applied the "strict scrutiny" standard to take issue with the breadth of a notable restriction on "[a]ny other video game not dependent on skill or dexterity that is played while revealing a prize as the result of an entry into a sweepstakes."

Then, last night, the Town fathers of East Laurinburg opted to "drop" -- that's the newspaper's language, not mine -- a proposed ban on sagging pants in the Town's close limits. You can view our previous post on this issue here. Essentially, and perhaps with an eye on other First Amendment dustups, the Town of East Laurinburg abandoned the dress code after estimating significant costs to craft an ordinance that "would stand up in court." And, having already received a warning shot from the North Carolina ACLU, a legal challenge was about a foregone conclusion.

Mike Thelen is a lawyer in Womble Carlyle's Real Estate Litigation practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients in land use and land development issues, from local governments to businesses, in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.

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