Search  |  Login  |  Register

The Legacy Of William Bentley Ball

By Edward White1336168739000

One of the leading religious-rights litigators in this country was William Bentley Ball. He fought for the religious freedoms of Americans from the 1960s into the early 1990s.

A 1948 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, William Ball was involved in some of the most important cases considered by the United States Supreme Court during the latter part of last Century. He passed away in 1999.

I recently had the honor to attend the dedication in Washington, D.C. of the William Bentley Ball Memorial Library, which houses his archive. I was the keynote speaker and provided the audience with an historical perspective of Ball’s legal work.

As correctly explained on the William Bentley Ball Memorial Archive website:

[Ball] stood for the primacy of parents in the education and nurture of their children and should be credited as a foundation stone in the modern school choice movement. In Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) he successfully defended an Amish family who refused to send their children to secondary school under the state’s compulsory attendance statute because of their deeply held religious convictions.

He established some of the legal precedent now being used for the defense of voucher or educational credits by the school choice movement through cases such as Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District (1993) where he successfully vindicated the right of a deaf Catholic school pupil to the assistance of a sign-language interpreter provided by the local public school district.

He was also a Pro-Life Advocate who heard the cry of those whom Blessed Teresa of Calcutta called “the poorest of the poor”, our first neighbors, children in the womb. His defense of the Right to Life as a fundamental human right was a polestar in his life work.

The website continues by noting that

the work and living legacy of William Bentley Ball must also continue. The nation he loved and served needs individuals who will stand against the rising tide of secularism and antagonism towards Christianity in our courts and legal institutions. We need those who can and will work tirelessly to provide a lasting defense of the inalienable rights, which our founders articulated. These rights cannot be conferred by government and must not be denied by government.

The dedication of a memorial library to William Bentley Ball was a fitting tribute to the man. I think an equally fitting tribute to him, and others like him, is to continue to advance their work and legacy. I am pleased to say that we, at the American Center for Law & Justice, are engaged in such efforts on a daily basis, here and abroad.

Latest in
Constitution

Winning Victories for Faith & Freedom

By ACLJ.org1438285554928

For years, the ACLJ has fought—and continues to fight—to defend your Constitutionally protected freedoms. Your support allows us to fight for the lives of the unborn, defend the Constitution, and protect the religious liberties of all U.S. citizens. Here are a few of the victories that you’ve...

read more

Our Troops Can't Defend Themselves

By Jay Sekulow1437415441433

Last week, in an act of jihadist terror, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire at a Navy recruiting center and a Navy and Marines Reserve Center in Chattanooga, TN, killing four Marines and one naval officer. These five brave soldiers were unarmed, gunned down in cold blood. How could this...

read more

Ten Commandments Torn Down?

By ACLJ.org1436457580079

Recently, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma made national headlines when it ruled that Article 2, Section 5, of the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited a Ten Commandments display on the State Capitol grounds. The Court’s ruling in Prescott, et al. v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission ,

read more

Resolve, Not Sunshine Patriotism

By Edward White1435781558694

Many conservative Americans look at their country now and no longer recognize it. That is due, in particular, to the implementation over the past one hundred plus years of a Progressive Left agenda that has been steadily transforming this country into something other than what our Founding Fathers...

read more