Blue Laws

All the talk about legislating morality and forcing one’s religious views on others got me thinking: Is there any rational justification for making it illegal to sell alcohol (or anything else) on Sunday? Or is this the result of religious folks trying to make everyone keep holy the Sabbath day?

No, there is no rational reason.

Yes, they are just holdovers from religious laws.

That is so that, on days where the labor costs are higher, there will be less need for emergency workers to scrape drunk drivers’ victims off the pavement.

Alcohol–hell, here in SC, until 1986 you couldn’t buy all sorts of things on Sunday.

I don’t remember the specifics, but stuff like cooking utensils and hardware were verboten. (I actually saw a cashier in line tell a woman she couldn’t sell her a can opener on Sunday. The woman just said, OK.")

One merchant had a retail clothing store. He defied the blue laws, opened his shop on Sunday, and dared to sell shirts–of all the nerve.

He was promptly arrested and fined.

You still can’t buy alcohol on Sunday from stores (except in certain “tourist” areas), although you can still buy alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, liquor) in restaurants–but there is a special liquor license to sell on Sunday.

Also, most counties are not allowed to open retail stores (excluding things like grocery stores and convenience stores) until 1:00 PM, and must close by 6:00.

In Pennsylvania, you can’t sell cars on Sunday. Well, you can’t operate a dealership, anyway; I guess no one’s stopping you from selling cars out of your driveway.

I have no idea why.

Never attribute to malice anything that can be attributed to stupidity.
– Unknown

Most of New Jersey has gotten rid of these laws, except for Bergen County, which keeps them specifically so there can be at least one day a week with tolerable traffic levels.

But for some reason, all car dealers are closed in the entire state on Sunday. Every other kind of store in open in most counties. But you can’t buy a car.

I fail to see the rhyme, reason, or humor, in such exceptions. Makes it a real pain to buy a car, for those who observe the Sabbath on Saturday.

Sure there’s a reason, sometimes. Certain counties in Utah are dry–no alcohol sold at all. Why? The bulk of the population in those counties is LDS, and it was legislated on religious grounds. When the non-Mormon population ever reaches the point where there will be enough votes to kill the booze ban, it’ll be killed.

In much of the South it’s the same situation, AFAIK (only not LDS of course).


I read once that back in the 60’s,women were not allowed to wear pants on campus.Why? I would think skirts were sexier! So weird. I think here in Ohio,you can buy liquor on Sunday,but only after 1 p.m. Like,right after you get out of church?!ha ha.Don’t know about buying porn,have to ask pl! :wink:

orangecakes wrote:

Modern skirts are sexier. The skirts in the 1960s came all the way to the floor and, for all I know, probably had a bazillion petticoats underneath.

I’m pretty sure the campuses that forbade pants on women also forbade miniskirts.

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Hey, some of us think those are sexy, too!

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

My mom went to school at NIU around that time and no, you were not allowed to wear pants. Brrr…that’s cruelty in those cold DeKalb winters, there’s nothing taller than a blade of grass to break the wind. I remember going to class in -30 farenheit, when it was so cold the anti-freeze froze solid in the buses (I know, I know, and I walked uphill both ways to class too).

“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

  • Bertrand Russell

This is not intended as a flame, but…what alternate universe are you from? The fashions that I recall from all the 1960’s magazines stacked up in my grandma’s basement were tight and short (just below the knee to mid-thigh.)

OP-related: Des Moines must be a midwestern Sin City. I can buy alcohol or anything else I want on a Sunday… except a haircut. Unless I head to a mall salon, before five p.m., and opt to pay $75 for a trendy 'do, that is.

“ChrisCTP-…the sweetheart of the SDMB…” --Diane
Chris’ Homepage: Domestic Bliss

I grew up near Keene, Texas, which is south-southwest of Fort Worth. There, the Blue Laws are in effect on Saturday. Why?

The entire town is run by Seventh-Day Adventists. They have a college there.

One time when I was very young, my Dad was showing his home movies to his sister’s family and the projection bulb burned out. It was a Sunday and Keene was the only place he could buy a replacement.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Blue Laws were all originally based on religion but many of the ones that remain in effect are the result of modern special interest lobbying campaigns.

In Connecticut all liquor stores close at 8PM and on Sundays. Back when our blanket Blue Laws were repealed the liquor store owners mounted a massive lobbying campaign to limit the hours, ostensibly to fight drunk driving but,in fact, to hold down their own hours of operation. The logic is that if everybody has to keep the same limited hours by law, nobody can compete with them by providing extended hours and stealing “their” business.

Car dealerships are the same deal…the dealers lobby like crazy to get the legislature to order them closed on Sundays. That way everybody gets a day off and nobody loses a sale to the competition.

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

There are also laws in SC against advertising liquor prices for the same reason. The liquor lobby doesn’t want any change because the big “Wal-mart” type liquor stores (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea) would steal business from the smaller Mom ‘n’ Pop type liquor stores.

I wonder, since it is so obvious that Blue Laws are based (or were originally based) upon religious convictions, that a spirited business owner who wants to do business his own way (and his own days) could fight the laws on Constitutional Separation of Church & State issues? He’d have a good argument - He would not force anyone with religious convictions to buy something from him on Sunday, but why are they telling him he can’t sell his stuff to anyone?

Is there a precendent for this issue?

Yer pal,

I would imagine some state’s attorney would argue (probably successfully) that there is enough “secular intent” behind the law, such as reducing drunk driving or some such hooey, that the law serves a secular purpose without recourse to First Amendment relief. Doesn’t quite explain why I can’t buy beer between midnight and 1:00pm on Sunday, but I can buy it at 1:01pm.

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

When I was in grade school,(1963-1970)girls weren’t allowed to wear pants. I thought this was horrible(even now,I never wear skirts or dresses).Some of us protested and wore pants,but were sent home. :frowning: After,I left and went on to junior high,they finally changed it. I mean,pants were better. At 12,boys want to look up your skirt!

Yup…but we give it up at 13. :slight_smile:

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

ChrisCTP wrote:

Huh. I’ll be darned. I guess, like every generation, I like to think that my generation’s skirts are shorter than the previous generation’s.

Which begs the question: Miniskirts tight enough to show the contours of your vulva, and short enough so that you didn’t NEED to see the contours, were okay – but pants were forbidden?! What, were they afraid you’d become bull-dykes?