Tattoos: Protected by the First Amendment.

posted Sep 9, 2010, 2:14 PM by Calan McConkey   [ updated Sep 9, 2010, 2:27 PM ]
According to the Ninth Circuit, tattoos and tattooing are apparently protected under the First Amendment. Judge Jay Bybee wrote that, essentially, a tattoo is no different from a drawing on paper -- both effectively protected by the First Amendment as a form of speech. Specifically, Judge Bybee said:

    "The principal difference between a tattoo and, for example, a pen-and-ink drawing, is that a             tattoo is engrafted onto a person’s skin rather than drawn on paper. This distinction has no             significance in terms of the constitutional protection afforded the tattoo; a form of speech does         not lose First Amendment protection based on the kind of surface it is applied to."

WSJ: Tattoos Get First Amendment Protection