Appeals Court Rules Parents Can Name Their Baby 'Messiah' - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Appeals Court Rules Parents Can Name Their Baby 'Messiah'

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In this undated photo provided by WBIR-TV, 7-month old Messiah DeShawn Martin is held by his mom, Jaleesa Martin. (AP Photo) In this undated photo provided by WBIR-TV, 7-month old Messiah DeShawn Martin is held by his mom, Jaleesa Martin. (AP Photo)

NEWPORT, Tenn. (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.

On 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 said the original ruling was "ridiculous" and said she was glad the court fight is over.

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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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