1870 Tennessee Constitution Actual Disqualifications for Holding Office



Section 1. Whereas Ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no Minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.

Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

Section 3. Any person who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, fight a duel, or knowingly be the bearer of a challenge to fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge for that purpose, or be an aider or abettor in fighting a duel, shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this State, and shall be punished otherwise, in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe.


5 thoughts on “1870 Tennessee Constitution Actual Disqualifications for Holding Office

  1. The irony? Article 1 Section 4 of the same document:

    “That no political or religious test, other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of this State, shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.”

  2. Pingback: Volunteer Voters » Separation Of Church And State

  3. The US Supreme Court’s current interpretations of the First and Fourteenth amendment overrides both the ministerial and atheist ban, even if Art 1, Sec 4 wasn’t in play.

  4. But you must admit, Bridgett, that it is amusing–and typical Tennessee–to have a state constitution that contradicts itself.

  5. Yes, I was thinking of Slarti’s post about Tennessee politics…two mules endlessly pulling in opposite directions. If that’s not on the flag, it ought to be.

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