Is it illegal to walk into a crowded theater with a tramp stamp that says “FIRE”?
That might still be unclear, but today the LA Times reports that a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “tattoos and the art of tattooing are 'forms of pure expression fully protected by the 1st Amendment':
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the city [of Hermosa Beach] to allow tattooing in at least some of its areas zoned for business, saying a total ban was “facially unconstitutional.”
The city was sued by Johnny Anderson, co-owner of Yer Cheat'n Heart Tattoo in Gardena. A native of Redondo Beach, Anderson had been trying to open a parlor in Hermosa Beach since 2006 but was repeatedly rebuffed by city officials who refused to allow the practice on grounds that tattooing can lead to infection or disease if not done properly.
Here are other music-related tattoos also protected by the constitution: