The Maryland Constitution provided: "No RELIGIOUS TEST ought ever to be required as a qualification to any office ? other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God.?" For Justice HUGO L. BLACK, speaking for the Supreme Court, the Maryland requirement contravened the ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION clause of the FIRST AMENDMENT. Black, quoting his own opinion for the Court in EVERSON V. BOARD OF EDUCATION (1947), repeated that government may not "force a person to profess a belief ? in any religion."
RICHARD E. MORGAN