Wednesday, February 25, 2004

What's In a Name

Congratulations to Ed Forchion, who scored a major victory at the appeals court on Tuesday when a three-judge panel overturned a lower-court ruling preventing him from legally changing his name to The appeals court said the lower-court decision was flawed because Forchion, who was in prison on possession charges at the time, was required to submit his arguments in writing while an assistant prosecutor appeared in person.

Forchion said his proposed name change, originally intended as an "advertising gimmick" to promote his views and a Web site that he runs, has become a First Amendment issue.

"How can the government tell me what I can name my body?" asked Forchion, who argued his own case before the appeals court. A frequent political candidate, Forchion said he wants to be listed on ballots as

But Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi said the name change is intended to promote illegal drug sales via the Internet.

"We anticipate that, if Mr. Forchion's application is granted, our office will be besieged by applications promoting all manner of illegal professions," Sarubbi said Tuesday.

The DA's argument is absurd of course. Ed's site, as ours does, merely advocates the legalization of cannabis. He does not sell drugs. Furthermore, we doubt there are many people who would be willing to endure the trials and tribulations that Ed has in order to assert his First Amendment rights.

I mean really, is Mr Sarubbi thinking there will be a deluge of folks wanting to change their name to something like


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