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A blue law is a type of law, typically found in the United States and Canada, designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship or rest, and a restriction on Sunday shopping. Most have been repealed, have been declared unconstitutional, or are simply unenforced, although prohibitions on the sale of alcoholic beverages, and occasionally almost all commerce, on Sundays are still enforced in many areas. Blue laws often prohibit an activity only during certain hours and there are usually exceptions to the prohibition of commerce, like grocery and drug stores. In some places blue laws may be enforced due to religious principles, but others are retained as a matter of tradition or out of convenience.
Laws of this type are also found in non-Christian cultures such as Israel, where the day concerned is Saturday rather than Sunday, and most countries with Muslim majority, where the month of Ramadan is involved.
May 23, 2008
Repealing America's blue laws not only decreased church attendance, donations and spending, but it also led to a rise in alcohol and drug use among people who had been religious, according to a new study by economists Jonathan Gruber of MIT and Daniel Hungerman of the University of Notre Dame.
Blue laws, or Sunday closing laws, refer to statutes that restrict certain activities on the Christian Sabbath. By the end of the 19th century, nearly every state had at...