Judges lay down law on uncourtly clothes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Fed up with defendants coming to court wearing flip-flops, wife-beater T-shirts and saggy drawers, some Nashville judges are saying, "Enough!" Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn tomorrow will start a strict dress code -- one borrowed from Nashville schools.

Judges have jurisdiction over their courtrooms, although one judge's attempt to jail someone over attire was struck down on appeal.

All pants have to be worn at the waist, reads a sign posted outside Blackburn's courtroom. That means no sagging or low-riding pants.

No do-rags, bandanas, hairnets or hoods are to be worn over the head. Visible undergarments and see-through clothing are banned, as are bare backs, chests or midriffs.

Other judges have also ordered people to put on smocks or have put them in jail for repeatedly refusing to dress appropriately.

Judges say the problem is worst during summer, with people wearing less because of the warm weather.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)