Talk:Blue law

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WikiProject Time assessment rating comment[edit]

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Yamara 19:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


The section on Connecticut blue laws links to an article with no information about current blue laws in Connecticut. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC) (talk) 22:47, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Can someone please do some heavy editing on the Israel section? It is somewhat misleading; many small shops and restaurants stay open on the sabbath both in the cities and rural areas (even jerusalem). While Blue Laws are certainly on the books, I can state that as a one-time resident of Bergen County and a current resident of Israel, it's sometimes easier to find an open store here in Israel than in NJ... (talk) 22:47, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Blue movies doesn't make sense here. Blue movies are dirty movies, not rigidly moral movies, and the term has the opposite connotation of bluenose. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:23, August 23, 2007 (UTC)

I just clicked on "Blue movies" never having heard the term before, assuming it was some type of (as mentioned above) "rigidly moral" movie. And of course my screen was filled with the entry for Pornographic Movie which obviously contains sexually explicit images and text. This is unacceptable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I've never heard this term used in Canada - if it is, is the usage regional? 18:28, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm just restoring the text that the previous (anonymous) person deleted completely.... Of course in 2 months someone will ask approval for edits they made to the page I "wrote."  ;-) --KQ

An aspect of blue laws that deserves some attention here is their constitutionality: whether prohibiting certain businesses from operating on the Christian sabbath violates the first amendment by preferring one religion over another. -- Arteitle 07:13 3 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The only problem with providing such an analysis is that it would probably be original research rather than a recapitulation of ideas expressed elsewhere. See Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, Item 10. -- NetEsq 14:14 3 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps some reference to the fact that the issue has been raised in the past, then. If there were some definitive historical legal challenge, for example. I'm not knowledgable enough to fill that in; that's actually what I was curious about when I looked up the article. -- Arteitle 09:33 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I am not aware of any definitive historical legal challenge to blue laws based upon First Amendment grounds. In fact, at the time that the First Amendment was passed, it clearly applied only to the federal government and left state governments free to establish their own official state churches, which many states did. To wit, Pennsylvania was originally a theocracy established by Quakers for the express purpose of allowing freedom of religion as opposed to freedom from religion. It wasn't until the Civil War Amendments were passed -- specifically the Fourteenth Amendment -- that conflicts between state and federal law became a real issue. Moreover, the idea of freedom from religion based on constitutional grounds did not surface until the Scopes Trial in 1925; it wasn't until the 1968 case of Epperson v. Arkansas that the United States Supreme Court finally cited the Establishment Clause as being applicable to religious institutions established by the several states. -- NetEsq 12:33 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Anyone know what areas still have general blue laws?

As far as I can find, only Bergen County, New Jersey in the US. Nova Scotia has weak blue laws, and the EU, if its constitution ever passes, will have weak blue laws as well. Israel and numerous Muslim countries have equivalents of blue laws for Saturday and Friday. - Cuivienen 00:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

One-third of US states still have blue laws, although that number has begun dropping rapidly in the last several years.David Justin 16:11, 13 December 2005 (UTC)[1]

In Pennsylvania, bars are allowed to be open on Sundays only if they serve food. Also, I believe, not before noon. Some info on several US states here.--BillFlis 18:56, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Davies comment[edit]

Robertson Davies is a great author and I love the quote here; however, doesn't it belong much more in an article on Daylight Savings Time or Puritanism than here? The only link seems to be that he is criticising the Purtians, presumed originators of the blue laws, for something else which is only peripherally related (at best).

Agreed. Done - I moved it to Daylight Savings Time. I'll leave it to others to decide if it's worth putting in Puritanism
Singkong 6 July 2005 02:36 (UTC)


I understand the Wikipedia naming convention. But I have seen many references to "Blue Laws" (and some to "blue laws") and almost almost none, ever, to "Blue laws". Aren't we getting carred away? Rlquall 12:39, 15 Nov 2004

Merge with Sunday shopping?[edit]

Isn't this just another term for the same issue, that of which stores (if any) should be permitted to open on Sundays? --Delirium 08:24, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Not necessarily. In Massachusetts, the blue laws currently prohibit most retail stores from opening on Thanksgiving and Christmas. [2] --WikkiTikkiTavi 15:21, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

not necessarily, until 2006 it was illegal in Ontario to hunt with a firearm on Sundays, as part of the Lord's Day Act. I have added this information to the page as well.

--Jadger 12:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, a great deal of this article is covering Sunday shopping. I think it would be best to move talks about restrictions on Sunday shopping from that article into this one and any mention of restrictions in Sunday shopping should link back here. --Anon 12:35, 22 January 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Texas Blue Laws - Motor Vehicle Dealers[edit]

The sentence stating that Texas prohibits the sale of vehicles on Sunday is incorrect. Texas only prohibits motor vehicle dealers from being open for business on both Saturday and Sunday. Dealers must choose between the two days and often switch between the two for different promotions.

Jyroberson 22:58, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Possible Contradiction in "Bergen County, New Jersey" section[edit]

In the "Bergen County, New Jersey" section it is noted that "The county is not considered a particularly religious area." Then, it it followed with "Bergen County has significant Jewish and Muslim populations." Besides this, the county also has a large number of Christians including Roman Catholics, as well as Christians of other denominations. Before I edit this, I would like some input regarding how best to clarify this and input discussing if clarification is indeed necessary.

Thank you.

That section was changed, but there are no citations given for either the former "not particularly religious" claim nor for the "significant Jewish and Muslim population" claim. Both are somewhat subjective statements. An area that is no more religious than any other is not particularly religious, and Bergen County is far less religious overall than a typical Bible Belt county, which would be considered particularly religious. An area with clusters of Jews or Muslims large enough to be noticed could be said to have significant populations. Hypothetically, an area of the nation where only 25% of the population is religious, but where 6% of the population is Jewish would be an area that is not particularly religious, but with a significant Jewish population, since Jews make up only 1.5% of the nation. Thus the two statements do not contradict each other on face value. What would be relevant is the basis for either claim, and no citations were given. However, the statement that Bergen County is not particularly religious seems reasonable, and should be put back with a citation showing its overall statistics. --Hagrinas 16:47, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

There should be some support for why Bergen County is considered noteworthy. The article states that it is exceptional for banning all types of commerce, but I get the feeling that it isn't that exceptional to deserve such a long section and is only written this way because someone from Bergen County felt like sounding off on the issue. Unless Bergen County's laws are truly unique, I propose cutting this section down or rewriting it to remove a focus on Bergen County. It should simply discuss the existence of more strict blue laws, with Bergen County as an example.

-- 20:02, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Worldwide weekend thanks to Blue laws[edit]

Weekend has it starting in Europe due to trade unionists, nothing to do with North American laws at all. I have put "citation needed" on it on it A Geek Tragedy 23:04, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I took it out now. A Geek Tragedy 10:59, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

SDA's beliefs pertinent information[edit]

Links to sources concerning the Adventists' beliefs of the end time significance of blue laws needs to be included in this article. [3] Panda

Gender "appropriate" attire[edit]

There is a lot of information circulating (in LGBT literature) about blue laws in the 1950ies that regulated gender "appropriate" attire. I read that in many states, like New York, people could get arrested if they didn't wear at least 3 items of such clothing. Truth or fiction? --Stilfehler 19:03, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Worldwide perspective[edit]

Laws designed to enforce moral standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship or rest, are or have been common in many other parts of the world too. The fact that American English has a word for them and other forms of English don't (to my knowledge, as an Australian) doesn't make it a specifically American/North American topic. But, I don't know the details of it outside of the US so I can't help with the fixing. —Felix the Cassowary 10:39, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course laws that enforce moral and religious standards are common in other parts of the world, but are they called Blue Laws? I can't help but disagree with the 'Worldwide View' tag being placed on this article. It's not really supposed to represent a worldwide view. It's supposed to deal with Blue Laws in the United States and Canada. The only way to make it represent a worldwide view would be to incorporate it into a longer article dealing with laws which enforce religious customs throughout the world. I think the article is just fine the way it is. (talk) 20:08, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

All laws enforce moral standard[edit]

Since all laws enforce a moral standard, how does one determine a blue law? Are laws against murder blue laws? Rds865 (talk) 06:39, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

some would say yes. In masachusets, employees are guaranteed one day of rest per 7 day week. This is a labor standard that prevents employers from running an employee forever without a day off, but only if the employee WANTS the day off. It's still considered a blue law in this article (although I think we should take it off) SeanBrockest (talk) 20:47, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Laws which prohibit murder are objective, rational, protect human rights, are derived from common sense, and strongly implied by the Constitution (individual rights to life & pursuit of happiness are supreme, so long as they don't prevent anyone else from doing likewise). Blue laws are based on arbitrary religious, moralist, etiquette, ascetic, or other social considerations, often not necessarily the majority of the population, and often not even truly based on religious scripture, but on popular misconceptions, elitist snobbery, politicians' personal pet peeves, etc. Shanoman (talk) 21:09, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Cook Islands[edit]

I didn't know that the Cook Islands were part of the US or Canada. This article makes it seem that way. (talk) 05:39, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Election day liquor sales[edit]

Are election day liquor sales blue laws? Should prohibitions on election day liquor sales be in this article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Ohio blue laws[edit]

There are sections regarding the blue laws in a huge number of states, but nothing about Ohio. As far as I know, sale of alcohol on Sundays is prohibited in Ohio except alcohol sold after 11:00 AM in sports arenas (from a recently passed bill). I think this should be added to the page, although I have little experience with such laws. Eebster the Great (talk) 22:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Annoyingly pointless redirect[edit]

I was reading this article and saw the section about the [Lord's Day Act]. Did you click the link? Because it just put me back up to the top of this very article. Why on Earth is there a link to the Blue Law article actually INSIDE the Blue Law article?--Dark Green (talk) 16:58, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Is it entirely religious?[edit]

I think it might be misleading to state that Blue laws were there to enforce "religious" standards. Its true that a lot of it has to do with Sunday, however I think the alcohol laws are not religiously motivated but rather come out of the temperance/prohibition movement. Am I wrong? --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 11:36, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

From simply looking in a few dictionaries, it appears "blue laws" are actually just laws regulating work or moral conduct on Sundays. While those might in principle not be entirely religiously motivated, they derive from the New England colonial blue laws in the eighteenth century which were CERTAINLY religious. Eebster the Great (talk) 00:25, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

What about laws that prohibit alcohol sales but are not religious in motivation? The section on California, for example, explains laws that prohibit alcohol sales between certain hours all week. Without knowing the history of these laws, it seems like the motivation here is secular (i.e. keeping people from making drunken beer runs after 2:00 am). (talk) 03:59, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Blue laws[edit]

The color blue is the symbolic color in the Bible depicting the Law of God or the Ten Commandments. Israelites wove a blue thread through the sleeves of their garment as well as the neck and hem at the bottom to signify that what they did with their hands, where they went and what they said and thought were all within the law being within the blue thread.

This is where the blue in Blue Laws comes from as they were enacted in relationship to Sunday sacredness mistakenly taking Sunday as the Sabbath in conflict with God's written word that Sabbath is the seventh day or Saturday. The laws enacted limited sale and work on Sunday much like the limitations on work are depicted in the Bible on Sabbath. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Munson (talkcontribs) 04:08, 21 March 2009 (UTC)


It is an understatement to say that alcohol is banned from sale on various holidays; fact is, pretty much everything is.

Attempts by Sears, Kohls, Best Buy etc to open on Thanksgiving here have been quashed by the state. Big Lots did open briefly a few years back, but the Atty General got them shut down some time mid-afternoon.

I thought grocery stores were exempt, but fact is, one small chain (Super 99) was also cited for having "illegally opened" that same year.

Since then, no one has attempted opening on Thanksgiving.

Black Friday begins at midnite here. No earlier. (talk) 06:44, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

New York section[edit]

New York should not be listed under this article, as the prohibition of sales from 4 AM to 8 AM is not a Sunday-only restriction, but the daily "last call" time. Alternately, it should be noted as such. -Darryl Hamlin 01:37, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Labor Involvement[edit]

In Barbara Tuchman's excellent book, The Proud Tower, she makes it clear that Blue Laws were a major platform issue of the left and labor movements prior to WWI for the purpose of outlawing a seven-day work week. For them at least, the religous aspect was merely pretext to accomplish this goal. I believe it should be mentioned in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

South Carolina: Myrtle Beach churches[edit]

Why is there a listing of churches mile-by-mile? Its significance is not explained in the article. Acsenray (talk) 18:34, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. It seems to be saying something about the marathons not able to take place on Sundays because of those churches? Strange. Also seems strange that Myrtle Beach would have any blue laws, considering they have a bar called, "Suck, Bang, Blow" and many other comparably classy establishments. (talk) 00:50, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Utah Dealerships[edit]

As a Utah resident I might be overly sensitive, but the current statement that car dealerships have to be closed on "Saturday or Sunday, depending on the dealership" is not only completely false, but if it's up to the dealership then it isn't an example of a blue law! I'd estimate that 2 out of every 3 car dealerships here are open 7 days a week. (talk) 00:53, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Then make the edit. If you're wrong, and someone can find evidence to prove you are wrong, they will document it better when they put it it back in. SeanBrockest (talk) 20:49, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

New Jersey Dealerships[edit]

I believe New Jersey bans car sales statewide. The rest of the blue laws are by county option and, as pointed out in the article, are in effect in only Bergen County. The 1960 (I think) blue law was initially approved by referendum in only 11 of the 21 counties, and by the 1980's repealed, again by referendum, in 10 of them. The reason they were probably upheld in the last Bergen County referendum is to keep the intersection of NJ routes 4 and 17, by two shopping malls, free of traffic jams at least one day a week. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Manitoba Laws on retailers[edit]

I removed the manitoba section from this article. I've searched our provincial website and can find no evidence of this law on either of the two main lists of laws, regulations, or any list for that matter. Since the "law" was unsourced anyway, i've removed it from the list. SeanBrockest (talk) 20:49, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Delaware section needs to be added[edit]

The state of Delaware Still has some Liquor related Blue laws. Someone who knows how need to add a section about them. Sunday Alcohol sales only be came allowed in 2005(?), & it's only between 12:00pm (noon) & 8:0pm, there is no off-premises alcohol sales permitted on Election days until the polls close, & Liquor stores must be closed on Thanksgiving & Christmas. All off-premises Alcohol sales take place in licensed private liquor store (also formally know as package-stores) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Maryland Should be on List of Purported Blue Laws[edit]

According to this sentence in the article, Maryland should have be listed among the states with at least one purported Blue Law, in this case, car vehicle sales:

Maryland permits Sunday automobile sales only in the counties of Prince George's, Montgomery, and Howard.Maryland permits Sunday automobile sales only in the counties of Prince George's, Montgomery, and Howard.

The sentence following this one involves a similar Texas restriction, which is also included in the list of states. Ileanadu (talk) 05:15, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Costa Rica is now on the list[edit]

Alcohol sales are prohibited during Thursday and Friday of Holy Week. Daniel32708 (talk) 00:18, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

North Dakota[edit]

North Dakota still strictly enforces blue law. No retail shops are open on Sunday until 12pm, including large retail chains such as Walmart. Can any experienced editors on this page edit this in, because I don't feel the page gives the proper assessment of how serious some states still take these laws. Dancindazed (talk) 15:22, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually I'm going to add it in the listed states, if someone feels to rewrite go ahead, but I feel like ND has the strictest of the states and needs to be on the page with specific mention. Dancindazed (talk) 15:25, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Merge from Bert Bell[edit]

This does not really affect this article except it adds history with citations. If history of how and when the blue laws were deprecated are not desired, then please say so. (talk) 22:18, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Connecticut Link not working (redirects)[edit]

The Connecticut link links to Blue Laws - Connecticut, but the one meaning 'laws of Colonial Connecticut'. It even has a disambiguation tag for Blue Laws like the ones here (moral laws), but all THAT link does is link back to the Connecticut section of this page...which has nothing but a link to the 'main article', which is the wrong article. It's a vicious circle of wrong information. By the way, Connecticut became the 49th state to allow liquor sales on Sunday today. (talk) 01:36, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


I am deleting the sections regarding Israel. Re transportation, the source regarding Israel doesn't say there's a law that prohibits public transportation. It says the Knesset will enact a law to allow this. The Hebrew wiki on the subject clearly states that the status quo is based on political agreements and unwritten understandings. It's also sourced to a book on the subject. הסטטוס_קוו_בישראל_בנושא_השבת There are laws regarding the employment of Jews on the Sabbath, Christians on Sunday and Muslims on Friday, there are many exceptions and in any case this isn't written in the article. If someone could spend the time on this, it would be a worthy addition. (talk) 13:59, 1 August 2012 (UTC)Roy

Serious Problem With This Article[edit]

Many of the sections on specific laws here include a description of laws that prohibit alcohol sales all week long, from 2:00am to 7:00am, for example. These are not "Blue Laws" based on the article's description. Either the description needs to be altered to reflect a wider application of the term or the references to laws which prevent late night liquor sales need to be removed. If the motivation for these laws is moral or religious (I assume they are meant to prevent late night drunken liquor runs) then we should have some sources. (talk) 04:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Earlier use of the term ' blue law '[edit]

I have just been googling after Oliver Cromwell's wearing of a blue sash and noted this wikipedia page as I did so and return to drop in a quote from - - " Cromwell, a committed Puritan, and his godly "Ironsides" attributed their successes on the battlefield to divine intervention and now set out to create a godly society by establishing a body of evangelical preachers, by reforming the legal system, and by introducing legislation such as the Blue Laws (1650) against blasphemy, cursing, drunkenness, and adultery. Cromwell believed in liberty of conscience for his fellow Christians-"I meddle not with any man's conscience"; a truly revolutionary concept for the day-but in every other respect he remained a social conservative. " Here is a picture of Cromwell wearing one - - and I would like to comment that " a bluestocking " is generally taken to be a reference to an intellectual woman considered to be over-educated and opinionated in late 18c England not mid 17c Cromwellians. However the following account of Cromwell banning mince pies contains a comment upon this Connecticut law, not exactly authoratative but interesting perhaps - - ' What first seems to have set the ball rolling is a 1782 History of Connecticut by Samuel Peters. This sets out a colourful, and probably completely apocryphal, account of ‘blue laws’ regulating behaviour in the colony. It includes this paragraph: " No one shall read Common Prayer, keep Christmas or Saint days, make minced pies, dance, play cards, or play on any instrument of music except the drum trumpet and jewsharp." ' DaiSaw (talk) 23:59, 30 September 2013 (UTC)