blue laws


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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 While most blue laws in the United States have been repealed, many states restrict the sale of alcohol on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath.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.

blue laws

Laws that prevent the transaction of certain business on Sundays, prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages any day of the week; and/or place severe limitations on the manner and hours of sale of alcoholic beverages.These laws originated in colonial New England and were printed on blue paper. It is important to know and understand all local blue laws in a market area because,for example, many national restaurant chains will not open locations where Sunday liquor sales are prohibited.

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An 1883 San Francisco Chronicle article evaluated a proposed Massachusetts ban on Sunday railroad shipping and found that "[t]o Californians accustomed to nearly the full freedom of Continental cities, it seems strange that objections should be made to the running of railroads on Sundays" and that "to declare as a violation of the Sabbath the running of trains, the delivery of bread, milk, newspapers and other articles indispensible to the modern breakfast, is a relic of barbarianism which will soon find as few defenders as the Massachusetts legislation against witchcraft or the old Blue Laws of California." Sabbatarianism, S.F.
Following his sources, Twain dates the American Blue Laws to 1641, the year of the Interregnum.
Eleven other states have a similar prohibition - or blue law - on Sunday auto sales.
Because of the existence of blue laws, Pennsylvania remained a difficult place for Sabbath-keepers into the twentieth century, and legal action continued to be brought against those who attempted to work on Sunday.
The justices were equally unsympathetic to religious freedom challenges to the so-called Sunday "blue laws." These state provisions, prohibiting most businesses from operating on the Christian Sabbath, were variously claimed to violate equal protection, due process, non-establishment, and free exercise.
It is an interesting "read," but requires a bit of work, not because it is particularly profound, but because it is full of delightful tidbits, such as French fries were invented in Belgium and America's Blue Laws once forbade mothers to kiss their children on Sunday.
Eleven states prohibit or limit Sunday hunting, but some are reconsidering those old "blue laws." Lawmakers and state wildlife agencies in North Carolina and Virginia are seeking public opinion on the issue, while Pennsylvania newspapers are pushing the issue into public view.
Gruber and Hungerman identify a policy-driven change in the opportunity cost of religious participation based on state laws that prohibit retail activity on Sunday, known as "blue laws." Many states have repealed these laws in recent years, raising the opportunity cost of religious participation.
It's only been two years since Pennsylvania joined a national trend toward liberalization of blue laws when it began selling wine and liquor at selected state-owned stores on Sundays, one of 13 states to enact such changes since 2002.
Blue laws have slowed development and the influx of service jobs into northeast Georgia, leaving agriculture, mostly poultry farming, the linchpin of the local economy.
In Colorado, holdover Blue Laws pertaining to the Christian Sabbath prevent liquor sales at liquor stores as well as sales of automobiles.
A politician that votes pro-choice is not "promoting abortion" or "cooperating in evil" any more than one who opposes blue laws is promoting the violation of the Sabbath rules.