As Samuel L. Jackson would say if he were preparing to delve into this ethics quiz:
“Ella” is transgender woman now, whatever that means, but back when Ella was a 15-year-old boy, and stood 6-foot, 5-inches while weighing in at more than 300 pounds, she, though then a he, joined another teen in sexually assaulting a 110 pound autistic 14-year-old boy who was blind in one eye and autistic. The Pre-Ella then taunted the kid on Facebook. The male predecessor of Ella pleaded no contest to one count of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age and spent time in two juvenile detention and treatment centers. Somewhere along the way Ella decided she needed to transition to female-hood, so when, in her new female-identifying edition, she was ordered to register as a sex offender, she objected. Under Wisconsin law, sex offenders must register a legal name and any aliases they use, and they may not legally change their name. That seems reasonable, since there is no point to legally registering as a sex offender to alert the community of sex offending proclivities if one can just foil the measure by using a different name.
Ella has been “Ella” since her teens and is now 22. She argued that requiring her to register as a sex offender under her male name given at birth violates her First Amendment right to express her true female identity. She also contended the registry requirement, as applied to her, amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, in essence making her out herself as a former him, or a former him trapped in a female body, or something.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected Ella’s claims, and last week, four mean old conservatives outvoted the court’s liberal members on the Wisconsin Supreme Court also denied Ella’s attempt to change her name after hearing arguments in the case in February. Continue reading