by David Mendez
This just in out of Phoenix: The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that tattoos are protected speech under the 1st Amendment.
The case was brought about when the City of Mesa denied permission for a tattoo parlor to open up in 2009.
The court, however, did not say that Mesa violated the rights of the shop owners in keeping them from opening, sending that to be decided in Maricopa County Superior Court.
More, from the Arizona Republic:
"This is a big win for the little guys," said Clint Bolick, a Goldwater Institute lawyer representing the Colemans. "This is an important ruling in favor of entrepreneurs who wanted to establish a business in Mesa and found the ground constantly shifting beneath their feet."
Bolick said the ruling sets a national precedent for an issue on which courts at various levels have offered widely diverging opinions.
"This is the first state supreme court in the country to rule that tattooing is a form of protected speech," Bolick said. "That's very significant. ... We now know that in Arizona tattooing is a protected form of free speech, and that's a victory for freedom."