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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Zoning Ordinance Limiting Tattoo Parlors Unconstitutional

From the IML comes an interesting First Amendment case involving zoning and tattoo parlors. Buerhle v. City of Key West (11th Cir. December 29 2016). The City of Key West Florida adopted an ordinance that prohibited more than two tattoo establishments in the City's historic district. A tattoo artist challenged the ordinance after he was barred from opening up a business in the historic business. The lawsuit claimed that the zoning regulation violated the First Amendment because a tattoo is expressive speech under the constitution.  The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and found the ordinance unconstitutional. 

The question of whether a tattoo is protected speech was a case of first impression for the 11th Circuit. Other courts had already ruled that tattoos were protected speech, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Arizona Supreme Court in a case we wrote about here.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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