Tattoos as Speech

The act of tattooing is generally protected by the First Amendment, holds Coleman v. City of Mesa (Ariz. Ct. App. Nov. 3, 2011, following a Ninth Circuit decision from last year and disagreeing with several federal district court decisions and appellate decisions from Indiana, New York, and South Carolina. The reasoning sounds quite right to me, though of course it doesn’t preclude content-neutral regulations of tattoo parlors aimed at protecting public health, preventing tattooing of children, and so on.

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