Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The Tennessee Magistrate facing ethics charges for changing a child's name from Messiah to Martin has filed a statement denying the charges.
The submission seeks to distinguish cases cited by Disciplinary Counsel and concludes
Of all the forms of human expression, there are none with such permanent, life-altering consequences for another human being who lacks any ability to counter it, then the choice of a name. Children have no control over their names, and a child's only protection from potentially detrimental names lies with the state. Magistrate Ballew made a very difficult decision and she based that decision on her knowledge of the community and the future difficulties she thought that a child named "Messiah" might face.
Thus, the Magistrate seeks dismissal of the charges for lack of clear and convincing evidence.
Remarkable that the Magistrate would cite community intolerance as a basis to take this action.
Update: The New York Times is reporting that the matter has been concluded with a censure.
Update II: A Tennessee termination of parental rights case was just remanded. The child's first name is Karma. What goes around comes around. (Mike Frisch)