Wisconsin’s highest court has ruled that a registered sex offender can’t change her name to reflect her new gender identity
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the law banning registered sex offenders changing their names is still in effect, even if the perpetrator changes his/her gender identity.
The 4-3 decision, announced on Thursday, found that two lower courts were correct when they rejected a transgender woman’s request to change her name. The 22-year old convict was identified as “Ella,” is required to be listed under her legal name on the state’s sex offender registry.
“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 Grassl Bradley wrote in Thursday’s ruling. “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.”
Court records indicate that Ella, who was biologically male and weighed in at about 6’5″ and 345 lbs when she assaulted a boy aged 14 years old, is approximately 6-foot-5. He was 7 inches shorter than Ella and was 235 pounds heavier than her attacker. The court said that Ella taunted him on social media. She told students the story and traumatized the victim further.
Three of the high court’s judges agreed with Ella’s lawyers, who argued that blocking her from changing her name and requiring her to remain on the sex offender registry was unconstitutionally cruel and violated her right to free speech. “Requiring Ella to maintain a name that is inconsistent with her gender identity and forcing her to out herself every time she presents official documents exposes her to discrimination and abuse,”Justice Ann Walsh Bradley spoke.
However, Grassl Bradley said in the majority opinion Ella still has freedom to identify her gender. “For example, nothing prohibits her from dressing in women’s clothing, wearing make-up, growing out her hair or using a feminine alias,”According to the judge.
Ella’s lawyers also had argued that the state has no “rational basis”Thank you for following her. Grassl Bradley claimed that she was able to verify this claim. “incredible,”In light of her severe and brutal crime. Ella was found not to have pushed the victim to perform oral sex while her accomplice kept him quiet.
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