Recently, upon learning that the Supreme Court upheld the massive restrictions on political speech in McCain-Feingold, I pronounced the 1st Amendent dead. Apparently, I was too hasty. As Steven Taylor reports,

A federal appeals court has upheld a Utah artist’s right to make nude photos of Barbie dolls being menaced by kitchen appliances.

Noting the image of Barbie dolls is “ripe for social comment,” a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected toymaker Mattel Inc.’s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of lampooning the popular doll.

The artist had argued that the photo series, which also included a photo of Barbie dolls wrapped in tortillas and covered in salsa in a casserole dish in a lit oven, was meant to critique the “objectification of women” and “beauty myth” associated with the popular doll.

I’m sure this type of thing is precisely what James Madison had in mind.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Lemon says:

    But the bigger problem still is that public interest groups, in the few weeks leading up to a presidential election, cannot have ads featuring nude Barbies under attack from a Cuisinart claiming, “Under the Bush Administration, Women’s Rights Have Been Chopped, Diced and Blended.”

    However, Paul Begala — in his role on Crossfire — can, on Monday November 1, still analyze how the rights nude Barbies have melted away under George Bush by putting a representative Barbie in the microwave for the whole CNN audience to see!

    And I’m sure it will still be legal for some artist to buy TV time in the week before an election featuring a “daring and bold” performance art piece wherein a Bush bobblehead doll sodomizes a Barbie (now legal under Lawrence).

    Happy New Year!

  2. McGehee says:

    So, if I dress up a Ken doll in a suit and show it being menaced by the toaster oven, but label the doll “Howard Dean” and the toaster oven “reality,” can I get it on TV during the last 60 days before an election?

  3. McGehee says:

    Nuts — John’s comment wasn’t there when I started typing mine.