Court spurns religious claim to name change

Legal Insight Posted on

An appeals court has rejected a Kansas man's claim that the federal justice system's refusal to recognize his new Muslim name violates his constitutional religious rights.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Michael White failed to show it was unreasonable to deny his request to amend all records in his criminal case.

A lower court held that replacing the name Michael White with Abdul Hakeem Kareem Mujahid in all federal court records would create confusion.

Mujahid is serving 10 years at a prison in Colorado for killing another inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth. A Kansas court granted his petition to change his name in December 2010.

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