Monday, August 12, 2013

TN Judge Orders Baby's Name Changed Because The Name Offended The Judge's Religious Sensibilities

From TalkingPointsMemo, written by Tom Kludt (emphasis added) -
A judge in Tennessee ordered that a 7-month-old baby's name be changed from "Messiah," prompting the mother to challenge the ruling.

Jaleesa Martin and the father of the baby were attending a child support hearing Thursday in Cocke County, Tenn. to settle a dispute over Messiah's last name. It was there that Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew took the liberty to hand down a ruling on the boy's first name, too.

"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," Judge Ballew said, according to t.v. station WBIR. Ballew said the child could go by "Martin DeShawn McCullough," which includes both the mother and father's names.

Forgive my ignorance of legal precedents and other niceties, but -

1. What was the judge's legal foundation for her order, changing the baby's first name?  And what was her legal foundation for going beyond the scope of the specific matter before the court (paternity and last name)?

2. Am I the only one who actually sees a bigger issue here? Like say a judge placing her personal religious beliefs/sensibilities above civil society's laws?

This judge should be an *ex-* judge, and soon.
The Tennessee Courts' biographical webpage for this judge actually doesn't contain any information on her, though while the article above cites her court as being in Cocke County, the bio page states that her court is in Jefferson County.  Not sure what is going on there.
Also, not sure how the judge will feel when she finds out that the name she finds so offensive to her personal religious sensibilities is actually a name that is quickly rising in popularity (courtesy the Social Security Administration) - 

1 comment:

Phoenix Justice said...

Though I have an issue with parents naming their children weirdly (Apple, North, Messiah, etc ...), it is their right and no judge should impose their views, especially religious ones, on the parents' choice.