McDaniel v. Paty

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McDaniel v. Paty
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued December 5, 1977
Decided April 19, 1978
Full case name McDaniel v. Paty
Citations 435 U.S. 618 (more)
98 S. Ct. 1322; 55 L. Ed. 2d 593
Prior history Paty v. McDaniel, 547 S.W.2d 897 (Tenn. 1977); probable jurisdiction noted, 432 U.S. 905 (1977).
A state law that forbade ordained ministers from elected office is unconstitutional.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
Plurality Burger, joined by Powell, Rehnquist, Stevens
Concurrence Brennan, joined by Marshall
Concurrence Stewart
Concurrence White
Blackmun took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (1978), was a United States Supreme Court case that struck down the last remaining state restriction against religious ministers holding elected office.


McDaniel was a Baptist minister from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He filed as a candidate to be a delegate to the 1977 Tennessee State Constitutional Convention. His opponent successfully challenged his candidacy based on a state law that forbade ordained ministers from elected office.


The court ruled that the state law violated both the First and Fourteenth amendments.

External links

  • Text of McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (1978) is available from:  Justia  Library of Congress  Oyez (oral argument audio) 
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