Tattoos: Protected by the First Amendment.

Post date: Sep 9, 2010 9:14:46 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