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McDaniel v. Paty (docket #: 76-1427) (1978)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 12/05/1977
Decided 04/19/1978
Supreme Court Vote 8-0
Note Blackmun, J. took no part in the consideration or decision of the case
Supreme Court Ruling Free Exercise claim upheld; the Tennessee constitutional provision violates the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion because it conditions that right on the surrender of the right to seek office.
IssueWhether a Tennessee constitutional provision barring [m]inister[s] of the Gospel, or priest[s] of any denomination whatever” from serving as a delegate violates the Free Exercise Clause.
Majority Opinion Burger, C.J. (joined by Powell, Rehnquist, and Stevens, JJ.)
Concurring Opinion Brennan, J. (joined by Marshall, J.), & Stewart, J.,& White, J.
Lower Court Tennessee Supreme Court
Lower Court Ruling Free Exercise Claim denied.
For Petitioner
Frederic S. Le Clercq

For Respondent
Assistant Attorney General of Tennessee Kenneth R. Herrell

For Amicus
American Civil Liberties Union, American Ethical Union, American Jewish Congress, Americans for Separation of Church and State, Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. Et al (supporting Petitioners)

Opinion - Lower Court
Paty v. McDaniel, 547 S.W.2d 897 (Tenn. 1977)
"Last State Law Banning Election of Clergy Voided," Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19, 1978, sect. A, pg. 2
Hager, Philip, "Court Voids ban on Clergymen-Legislators; Justices Call 182-Year-Old Tennessee Law Unconstitutional," Los Angeles Times, Apr. 20, 1978, sect. B, pg. 8
Vecsey, George, "Clergyman Challenges Bar to Public Office," New York Times, Dec. 17, 1977, pg. 14
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