(Chicago, IL) – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) will present oral argument to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Wednesday.
MALDEF is asking the court to reverse a district judge’s ruling that let stand a 2010 Indiana law that precludes non-citizens, including legal residents and individuals granted asylum, from petitioning the state for a change of legal name.
WHAT: Hearing to appeal district court’s dismissal of MALDEF’s lawsuit
WHO: Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel
WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 27, 2017
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Everett McKinley Dirksen Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street, Room 2525
Chicago, IL 60604
BACKGROUND: In September 2016, MALDEF and the Transgender Law Center filed a federal lawsuit challenging a 2010 Indiana law that requires individuals to provide proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain a change of legal name.
The suit was filed on behalf of a 31-year-old Indiana resident who was born in Mexico and raised in Indiana, where he moved with his family when he was six-years old. Although born and raised as a girl, he has lived his entire adult life as a man and is recognized as a male on all official U.S. documents and his Indiana state ID. However, he remains unable to change his legal name in Indiana because of the 2010 state law that precludes non-citizens, including legal residents, from petitioning the state for a change.
The suit alleges the citizenship provision of the Indiana law is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause that guarantee individuals will not be discriminated against based on their alienage. Additionally, it violates the First Amendment right to freedom of speech by compelling speech from the plaintiff that betrays and falsely communicates the core of who he is, according to the complaint.
A district court dismissed the lawsuit. MALDEF appealed that decision.