A Win for Queequeg: The Ninth Circuit Holds that Tattooing is Constitutionally Protected


Occasionally, I can’t resist the temptation to digress into other legal areas. Today’s opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach (Case No. 08-56914, Sept. 9, 2010) is one of these irresistable tempations.

That case involved a challenge to a city’s ban on tattoo parlors. No, the city didn’t ban tattoos, just the parlors. In finding the ban unconstitutional, the court held that “tattooing is purely expressive activity rather than conduct expressive of an idea, and is thus entitled to full First Amendment protection”.

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