While the American Constitution is well known for granting the freedom of religion, several state constitutions attempted to oppress different viewpoints. Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas all feature text which prohibit non-believers from serving in a public office. In the 1961 case Torcaso v. Watkins, the Supreme Court ruled these state constitution rules to be unconstitutional (e.g. no religious tests for public office), and could no longer be enforced.
After the case Justice Hugo Black had these words to say:
"We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person "to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs."