State urges judges to uphold restrictions

PITTSBURGH — A lawyer with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office told a panel of judges Thursday to uphold a state law that bars some convicted felons from legally changing their names, in a case brought by three transgender women.

Alexander Korn said during Commonwealth Court oral argument in Pittsburgh that overturning that provision of the Name Change Act could frustrate employers seeking accurate background checks, the Post-Gazette reported.

The women are unable to change their masculine first names because of a 1998 state law that was designed to prevent fraud.

Their lawyer said it was not fair to assume that all convicted felons who want to change their names have fraudulent purposes, the paper said.

The women sued the state, the Department of State and its secretary, Kathy Boockvar.


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