The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled 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 dissenting justices agreed that Ella’s arguments alleging an Eighth Amendment violation of cruel and unusual punishment fail. But they said she should be allowed to petition a court to legally change her name based on First Amendment rights.
The majority “discounts the burdens Ella faces as a result of the restriction,” Ann Walsh Bradley wrote. A person’s name is an essential part of their identity, she wrote, citing Muhammad Ali and Caitlyn Jenner as high profile examples.