U.S. v. Ballard: Government Has No Right to Evaluate Religious Beliefs

U.S. v. Ballard: Government Has No Right to Evaluate Religious Beliefs

U.S. V. Ballard
Source: Lee J Haywood

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Argued: United States v. Ballard - The Supreme Court will rule 8-1 that neither the courts nor the government have the authority to evaluate the religious beliefs of a citizen or group.

Justice Douglas will write in the majority decision:

"Freedom of thought, which includes freedom of religious belief, is basic to the society of free men. It embraces the right to maintain theories of life and death of the hereafter which are rank heresy to followers of the orthodox faiths. Heresy trials are foreign to our Constitution.

Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may be incomprehensible to others. Yet the fact that they may be beyond the ken of mortals does not mean that they can be made suspect before the law."

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