What is Lawful?

This week, our materials discussed limitations on the authority of to criminalize or punish behavior according to criminal statutes. Review the scenario below.

You are the owner of a local dance club. Lately, there has been an increase in arguments and fights at the club. You observe that the fights are mostly between young men wearing red or black sports jerseys. Other customers have told you that the red or black jerseys might signify certain colors or sports jerseys worn by members of local gangs. As a result, you post a sign at all entrances regarding the dress code. The sign states:

“No customers may wear any clothing, hats or other items associated with any sports. Anyone violating this rule will be denied entrance or otherwise removed from the property.”

The mayor likes your idea and thinks your dress code might be a good way to reduce gang related issues in the community as a whole. Thus, the city commission passes an ordinance, which states

“It shall be unlawful to wear any clothing, hats or other items associated with any sports. Anyone violating this rule may be subject to a fine of $100.”

However, not everyone in the city likes your policy. Other people think the new city ordinance is illegal.

For your first post, discuss the following issues:

  • Is your dress code policy lawful? Why or why not? What are the specific legal issues concerning the policy?
    • Conduct research to support your opinions and findings.
 
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