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Monday, September 23, 2002
Starr on Tattoos

Law.com has this report on former Solicitor General and Independent Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's case, White v. South Carolina, in which Kirkland & Ellis is defending a tattoo artist who, get this: was arrested for giving a tattoo. Apparently it's illegal in South Carolina. Missing the boat entirely, the Supreme Court of South Carolina upheld the conviction.

In an unfortunate attempt to defend the decision by analogy, South Carolina Attorney General Charles Condon is quoted as saying, "Many would, and do, undoubtedly call obscenity artistic expression, but it is well established that obscenity in any form is not constitutionally protected." I suppose that Condon has never heard of Miller v. California, in which the Court defined obscenity as material that "lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." If it has artistic value, ipso facto, it is not obscenity. I would be willing to bet that this case will be accepted and REVERSED, per curiam, kind of like this last term in Kirk v. Louisiana, 122 S. Ct. 2458 (2002), when the Louisiana Supreme Court up and decided, contrary to everything in existence, that it was okay to bust into someone's house and arrest them without a warrant.