From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...
Torcaso v. Watkins
United States Supreme Court
367 U.S. 488 (1961)
Article 37 of the Maryland Constitution prohibits the state from denying a public position to an individual based on his or her religious belief, with the exception that the state may require the individual to affirmatively state his or her belief in the existence of God. Torcaso (plaintiff) applied for a commission to serve as a notary public, which required Torcaso to state that he believed in God. Torcaso refused to affirm his belief in God and was denied as a notary. Torcaso sued, arguing that the constitutional provision requiring him to state his belief in God violated his right to the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment. The circuit court ruled against Torcaso. The Supreme Court of Maryland affirmed, holding that the constitutional provision was valid, because Torcaso was not compelled to believe in God, as Torcaso did not have to hold a public position such as serving as a notary. Torcaso appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 618,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.