The East Tennessee magistrate who famously tried to force a couple to change their baby's name from "Messiah" is going to have to answer for her actions. Late yesterday, Cocke County child support magistrate Lu Ann Ballew was brought up on violations of the state judicial code.
The charges were filed Wednesday by three-member investigative panel associated with Tennessee's Board of Judicial Conduct.Jaleesa Martin and Messiah's father, Jawaan McCullough, appealed to Cocke County Chancellor Telford B. Forgety, who needed only 30 minutes to find Ballew's actions were unconstitutional back in September. The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint on their behalf--and this appears to be the result.
The formal charges against Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew say she failed to promote confidence in the judiciary or uphold the law without bias or partiality.
Ballew ordered Jaleesa Martin in August to change the name of Martin's eight-month-old baby Messiah Deshawn Martin.
Ballew stated in her ruling that the name Messiah would offend local citizens and is a name only held by Jesus Christ.
Read the full complaint here (warning, may take awhile to load). It specifically charges Ballew with acting in a manner that lowered public confidence in the judiciary and manifesting bias. Ballew has 30 days to respond, and a hearing will be scheduled sometime between now and December.
Fundie heads exploding in 3, 2, 1 ...