William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


Brooke Lowell


This Note analyzes Tennessee’s prohibition against transgender people changing their gender markers on their birth certificates under both Fourteenth Amendment Substantive Due Process and the First Amendment. Part I discusses the relevant terms related to transgender rights, the importance of birth certificates, and the relevant laws at play. Part II focuses on the Substantive Due Process argument. It lays out the foundational cases and then applies them to analyze whether gender identity is a fundamental right. Part III explores the First Amendment analysis, focusing on gender as speech. It also discusses how government speech affects the analysis. The Note concludes by discussing the merits of both the Substantive Due Process and First Amendment arguments.