Judge Who Told Mom She Couldn’t Name Her Baby Messiah Fired

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  • NEWPORT, Tenn. – An East Tennessee magistrate has been replaced months after ordering a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin because she believes Messiah is a title held only by Jesus Christ.

    Lu Ann Ballew (pictured) was a child support magistrate, serving at the pleasure of the chief judge of Tennessee’s fourth judicial district. Judge Duane Slone terminated Ballew on Friday and appointed a new magistrate. He did not return calls seeking comment, and his order does not explain why he ended Ballew’s appointment.

    Ballew, an attorney, still faces a March 3 hearing on accusations that her order to change Messiah’s name violated Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct. Among other things, the code requires judges to perform all duties without bias or prejudice based on religion.

    In a response to the Board of Judicial Conduct, Ballew has denied that her ruling was a violation.

    The name change happened in August, when Jalessa Martin and Jawaan McCullough appeared before Ballew at a child support hearing in Newport about their 7-month-old son Messiah Martin. As part of the hearing, the father requested the baby’s last name be changed to McCullough.

    messiah baby name

    Jawaan McCullough, left, and Jaleesa Martin, center, and lawyer Kristi Davis speak during interviews following an appeal hearing regarding their son’s name at Cocke County Chancery Court on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in Newport, Tenn.
    Amy Smotherman Burgess,AP Photo/The Knoxville News Sentinel

    Ballew surprised both parents by ordering that the baby’s name change to Martin McCullough, saying that the name Messiah was not in the baby’s best interest. Her written order stated that “Labeling this child ‘Messiah’ places an undue burden on him that as a human being, he cannot fulfill.”

    She also said that the name would likely offend many residents of Cocke County, with its large Christian population.

    That decision quickly made international news, prompting the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation to file a complaint with the Board of Judicial Conduct.

    Ballew’s decision was overturned in chancery court a month later, and both parents agreed to name the baby Messiah McCullough.

    baby messiah

    Originally seen on http://newsone.com/

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    8 thoughts on “Judge Who Told Mom She Couldn’t Name Her Baby Messiah Fired

    1. KeepItReal , read the article you idiot. A black lawyer was fired for this. Still think that’s Keepin’ it Real?
      Get to steppin’ now Nicca

    2. White people…in all their ignorance…remain arrogant and think they know better than everyone else. That racist bish deserved to get fired. It’s just a NAME….dumba##

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    3. …seems to me the white lady was trying to save the baby from the ignorance of his parents. A life of mediocrity and bottom-feeding awaits him. He will be “discriminated” against for any real job or career because of his name almost immediately . What fool or foolish parents would allow such a name? Not even Christ himself was named Messiah. Black people we are our own worst enemy!

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