The Right to Control One's Name


Is there a constitutionally protected right to choose one’s name? This Comment seeks to answer this question and to evaluate current government control over the name choices of adults. It first discusses the conflicting interests in names as identification and communication tools, as an expressive medium, and as a component of identity. It then summarizes the current law of name changes. Next, the Comment explores potential First Amendment free speech challenges and potential Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process challenges to existing name law. Finally, it discusses several policy reasons for altering the existing statutory schemes and ways that states might do so.

About the Author

Chief Managing Editor UCLA Law Review. J.D. Candidate, UCLA School of Law, 2010.

By uclalaw