Judge rules parents can name child "Messiah" - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Judge rules parents can name child "Messiah"

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NEWPORT, Tenn. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - A Tennessee judge has ruled in favor of parents who want their 8-month-old baby to be named "Messiah."

At a paternity hearing last month, child support magistrate Lu Ann Ballew was asked to decide Messiah Deshawn Martin's surname.

She ended up changing the baby's first name as well, saying that Messiah was a title reserved for Jesus Christ.

That decision quickly made international news.

n Wednesday, Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr. overturned that decision, ruling that the lower court acted unconstitutionally. He said the lower court violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The child's mother, Jaleesa Martin, expressed relief after the hearing. She called the original ruling "ridiculous" and says she's glad the court fight is over.

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