Blue Law

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Blue Law

A law intended to enforce religious morality. In general, blue laws refer to public observance of holy days through the restriction of commerce. While most blue laws in the United States have been repealed, many states restrict the sale of alcohol on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. Other countries have similar restrictions on Jewish, Islamic and other holidays.
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In identifying a secular purpose for the Sunday law, it is not surprising that Harlan did not cite Holy Trinity or discuss whether Sabbath laws could be supported on grounds that America was a Christian nation.
In earlier challenges involving Sunday law questions, the Court upheld convictions based on jury verdicts returned on Sundays.
37) Although blasphemy prosecutions and exclusions from oath taking died off by mid-century and Sunday laws were later justified on public health and welfare grounds, the legacy of a close relationship between Christianity and the law persisted.
On Sunday, December 3, 1882, a day described by the New York Times as one "long to be remembered in the history of this City," (1) New York's finest took to the streets and with great zeal arrested 137 persons for various violations of the newly codified "Crimes against the Person and Against Public Decency and Good Morals," otherwise known as the Sunday Laws.
In what would appear to be an effort to maximize publicity for the case, Judge Arnaux invited notables to the December 21st hearing, including David Dudley Field, the eminent jurist, famous for codifying the Penal Law (he declined the invitation), and organizations interested in the observance of the Sunday laws, such as the Sunday Closing League.
8) The injunctions were therefore dissolved, and the police were free to resume arresting Jewish tradespeople for violations of the Sunday laws.
On many occasions, he convinced individual members to introduce legislation he had written and, as he had with the national Sunday law campaign in the late 1880s, testified before Congressional hearings.
He and his allies then sought a Sunday law for the District of Columbia and failed in that attempt as well.
Effective Sunday laws, Crafts argued, did not violate the separation of church and state because they did not impose religion.
While this petition was pending, one Solomon Benjamin in Charleston received a fine for violating the Sunday laws by selling a pair of gloves (to an African American).
There was a division of opinion among Jews, on this case as on Sunday laws in general.
Like the Jews of southern France, Holland, and England, Jews in the colonies gained extensive rights verging on civic parity* The emancipation process for Jews in the United States unfolded at the state level and involved the acquisition of political rights and the establishment of Judaism's equality, which included such issues as the status of missionary societies and Sunday laws, and the place of religion in the public schools and the state.