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Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Transgender Sex Offender Can't Change Her Name

Added 07-07-22 11:54:03am EST - “The court said Thursday that the law doesn't allow people on the state's sex offender registry to change their names.” - Huffpost.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Huffpost.com: “Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Transgender Sex Offender Can't Change Her Name”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority said Thursday that a transgender woman cannot change her name because she is on the state’s sex offender registry and the law does not allow people on the registry to change their names.

The court’s 4-3 decision upholds the rulings of two lower courts, which rejected the woman’s requests to change her name and avoid registering as a sex offender.

The woman, identified in court documents only as Ella, was required to register as a sex offender after being convicted of sexually assaulting a disabled 14-year-old boy when she was 15. She is now 22. She entered the criminal justice system identifying as male and was ordered to register as a sex offender for 15 years. State law prohibits registered sex offenders from changing their names or using aliases not listed in the sex offender registry.

Ella’s attorneys argued that not allowing her to change her name or avoid registering as a sex offender violated the First and Eighth Amendments as both a violation of her free speech and cruel and unusual punishment.

“Consistent with well established precedent, we hold Ella’s placement on the sex offender registry is not a ‘punishment’ under the Eighth Amendment,” Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote for the majority. “Even if it were, sex offender registration is neither cruel nor unusual. We further hold Ella’s right to free speech does not encompass the power to compel the State to facilitate a change of her legal name. ”

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