Judge in baby Messiah name change case found guilty of judicial misconduct

The former Tennessee Cocke County judge Lu Ann Ballew was found guilty of violating five rules of judicial conduct. She is the judge at the center of the controversy in 2013 when she ordered that a child’s name be changed from Messiah. That decision got her fired.

Ballew gave an interview about ordering the name change where she stated that the name Messiah is a title reserved only for Jesus Christ.

The day after deciding the baby’s name should be changed, Ballew said Messiah is a title that is held only by Jesus Christ. Messiah means “one who is anticipated as, regarded as, or professes to be a savior or liberator”, according to several dictionaries.

In relation to that statement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct ruled that Ballew had violated rules of judicial conduct.

“When a judicial officer indicates a personal affinity for persons of a particular faith or a particular faith position, and they affix the imprimatur of the state upon that belief, that freedom in which we are guaranteed turns into oppression,” said Disciplinary Counsel Timothy Discenza.

Ballew’s attorney argued that the judge was merely looking out for the child’s best interest.

Leave a Reply