"We hold that tattooing is purely expressive activity fully protected by the First Amendment"


It's real and it's, um, spectacular?

So writes Judge Jay S. Bybee for a unanimous three-judge panel of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today in the case of Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach, striking down the California city's complete ban on all tattoo parlors. Take it away Judge Bybee:

In sum, we hold that the tattoo itself, the process of tattooing, and the business of tattooing are forms of pure expression fully protected by the First Amendment. We further hold that the City's total ban on tattoo parlors in Hermosa Beach is not a reasonable "time, place, or manner" restriction because it is substantially broader than necessary to achieve the City's significant health and safety interests and because it entirely forecloses a unique and important method of expression.

Read the full decision here. Reason talks tattoos here and here. Pictures of some liberty-themed tattoos right here.