Torcaso v. Watkins, law homework help

Read persons response below and respond in 250 words with one in text blue book citation. You can agree or disagree with them or not.

The case “Torcaso v. Watkins”[1] is an interesting case because the Appellant declined to state an oath, which included a declaration in his belief of God, in order to obtain a commission for Public Office in Maryland. The Appellant sought suit, stating the requirement to declare one’s belief in God is a violation of the Frist Amendment[2]of the United States Constitution. The Court of the State of Maryland denied the Appellant’s claim and did not find in his favor. The United States Supreme Court ruled that one’s First Amendment rights are “protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by the States.[3]

The interesting part of this case is that the Supreme Court ruled that while the Appellant’s First Amendment rights were violated because one’s First Amendment,[4] the Court’s ruling was not based on Article VI, Section 3, which prohibits religious tests.[5]

Prior case laws cited in Torcaso v. Watkins include “Everson v. Board of Education,”[6] which was a New Jersey case involving the State Government subsidizing money for children who utilized public transportation, including those children attending Catholic school. In Everson v. Board of Education[7] the Court determined a list of items which a State and the Federal Government cannot do, as it pertains to religion.[8] Among these items was the affirmation that the State and Federal Government cannot “pass laws which aid one or all religions, or prefer on over another.”[9] The case of Everson v. Board of Education applies to the case of Torcaso v. Watkins because by requiring one to state their belief of God, the State is asserting that one must have a belief of God. Such assertions are a direct violation of the United States Constitution and the foundation of the country.[10]

In reaching the decision of Torcaso v. Watkins, the Court also cited “Cantwell v. Connecticut,”[11] during which the Court found that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution embraces the freedom to believe and the freedom to act.[12] During the opinion of Torcaso v. Watkins, the Court made mention that, “neither the State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.”[13]

The case of Torcaso v. Watkins builds upon past cases involving the separation of church and state and clearly affirms that one cannot be compelled to believe or not believe in any specific religion.[14] For this reason, no person, entering office should be required to state an oath in which they are required to declare a belief in God. However, persons should be required to swear an oath prior to taking office, as stated in Article Six of the United States Constitution.[15] The difference is that no statement of religion is required, per Article Six of the United States Constitution and as previously mentioned, it is interesting that the decision in Torcaso v. Watkins specifically noted that the opinion was not addressing whether this specific case is a violation of Article 6, Section 3.[16]

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