IN RE URBAN OUTFITTERS, 117 REC. 9 (2003)
This was one of the most controversial issues the Court decided during its first term. In a rare move the justices read their opinion from the bench.
Justice DICK announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion of the Court in which Chief Justice PETTINATO joined.
I. “It is the right of every human being to only see good-looking people, and that means people who are well dressed and know where to buy their clothes,” the distinguished Chief Justice noted in her book, “A Store of One’s Own.”
II. As usual, the facts of this case are not in dispute. Urban Outfitters is located in Harvard Square. Attempting to find a good reason to skip class, this Court decided to pick out new outfits as a way to increase self-esteem while also looking good at clubs. A controversy arose as to the value of Urban Outfitters and whether less expensive stores would not provide attractive outfits at less cost. This Court granted review in order to decide this controversy.
III. The question before this Court is whether Urban Outfitters is worthy of a student’s limited time and money.
IV. We should note from the outset that this has been a decisive and expensive issue for the Court. Much time and money were spent studying this case and over fifty amicus curiae briefs were filed, though the majority only actually read two. But this Court feels confident to announce we categorically disapprove the theory that hideous and eye weeping clothing stores acquire immunity from regulation simply because this is a free country or that some people actually shop there. There are legitimate interests in making sure people do not walk around wearing clothing that does not stop traffic, but actually encourages drivers to swerve and hit them.
V. While people can make some improvements to how they physically appear, unfortunately the curse of nature still strikes at the face and body of many. But people do have a choice in how they cover up their hideousness. As one amicus brief pointed out, “A good outfit is why I can go to a bar and at least leave with someone . . . anyone. My looks would never do it alone, and I know because I have asked.”
VI. If good clothing is vital to one’s dating life and self-esteem, then it is all the more important that people not make wrong choices. The Court does not pretend that most people have the sense of style that the majority has in making fashion decisions. Thus it is important that stores like Urban Outfitters exist and that other stores do not. Opposing counsel argued that such a rule is too paternalistic and eliminates individual choice. The Court’s response is simply that individuals do not have a right to be wrong, especially on issues as important as this. As Curtis said in the great novel, “A Brave, But Certainly More Attractive New World”: “What is wrong with eliminating my freedom to choose as long as those in charge have good taste?”
VII. To really drive home our point and make it clear that tasteless stores have no business in a respectable and well-dressed community, this Court finds that banning such stores is permissible not only because of their content, but also because of the secondary effects of such stores on the surrounding community. These stores encourage cheap people to congregate in Harvard Square, which leads to congestion, which in turn can set certain people late as they hurry from Urban Outfitters to their class that had started thirty minutes earlier. There are other areas in the United States where these cheap stores may be built, places not around me or where I may potentially visit. But even if there are not alternative areas for such blemishes, there does not exist any right for alternative means of dressing. “I would rather walk barefoot through life than be caught dead wearing white socks with brown shoes,” the Chief Justice said in “The Income Trap: Caught Between Not Having Money and Still Wanting to Look Good.” I happen to agree.
VIII. The Court finds that Urban Outfitters is worthy of a student’s limited time and money.
It is so ordered.
Justice TORRES, dissenting.
I. The Court has gone too far in its decision today and I am outraged to be included as their brother. People do have a fundamental right to wear whatever they want, even if where they bought it does not make the Pretentious Two’s list of worthy stores. Who are they to say what is in style and what is not? That is the job of fashion designers and Seventeen magazine or GQ, not two twenty-somethings with more credit card debt than student loans due to their frivolous buying.
II. Although I am again the lone dissenter (SEE In Re Comic Book Stores, 117 Rec. 4) and my opinion does not carry the judicial weight of the Court, I am calling on my fellow students to protest this opinion. Find the less expensive stores and buy outfits. Parade your clothing before the majority and let them know their opinion is without merit and will be resisted. Pull up your pant leg and show off your white socks with brown shoes. Wear shirts with large multi-colored horizontal stripes. Wear your shirt tag out so people can know you bought it at Wal-Mart. Wear really tight Lee’s jeans when you can’t afford to. In short, I am calling for civil disobedience.
III. It may not be the proper role for a dissenter to advocate such a position, but I feel I have no choice in this situation. I have seen the shallowness of Justice Dick many times and I know he will not stop writing majority opinions until every man, woman and child either conforms to his style or is forcibly moved to someplace he would never visit (like Old Navy). He is a fashion tyrant who would enslave the world in Express shirts. His style of living only benefits Visa and Discover. And the Chief Justice is just as bad. Just listen to a passage from her most recent book dealing with fashion, “From each according to her credit line, to each according to her looks.” (SEE “Das Capital One”).
IV. What I am proposing is a world based on free choice and love for all of humanity, regardless of price tags. A world where the poorly dressed can walk side by side with the fashionable. Or perhaps we should eliminate variances in fashion all together. Let us all simply dress in black and wear sunglasses indoors to promote equality in fashion as in society. Let us all replicate a world, in short, that resembles the Matrix. Bad dressers of the world unite!
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