Judge who changed baby's name fired
NASHVILLE — A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby's name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been fired, court officials said on Tuesday.
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of Cocke County in August ordered a boy's first name changed over the objections of his parents when they appeared before her seeking to settle other issues.
O. Duane Slone, presiding judge of the state's fourth judicial district, terminated Ballew's appointment, effective last Friday, according to court documents.
Slone did not give a reason in his order, but Ballew had been cited by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct for an inappropriate religious bias. A hearing is scheduled for March 3.
Ballew could not be reached for comment.
The board's chair, Judge Chris Craft of Shelby County, said in a statement that the board still has jurisdiction over Ballew, even though she is no longer on the bench.
Craft wrote that it is the duty of the board to inquire into the “commission of any act calculated to reflect unfavorably upon the judiciary of the state.”
Both the mother, Jaleesa Martin, and the father, Jawaan McCullough, were insisting on their respective surnames for baby Messiah. Ballew instead threw out the child's birth name and ordered the boy renamed Martin DeShawn McCullough.
“The word ‘messiah' is a title, and it's a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
- People who knew Virginia TV station shooter Flanagan recall his quick temper
- 13 states spared EPA regulation of waterways
- Bison gores worker on California’s Catalina Island
- Obama marks Hurricane Katrina anniversary in New Orleans visit
- Kraft Heinz recalls more than 2M pounds of turkey bacon
- US economy surged at 3.7 percent rate in April-June quarter
- Ex-crime lab chief: Illegal’s fatal shot in San Francisco likely accidental
- Prosecutor in Casey Anthony trial says he didn’t use Ashley Madison site to cheat
- Fox News boss says Trump owes anchor apology for latest Twitter attack
- Dow, S&P, Nasdaq soar 4% despite China worries, but volatility expected to endure