Statutes: Blue Sunday

One area of church-state relations virtually avoided by the Chicago conferees was the field of blue laws. And no wonder: it is one of the prickliest brier patches in U.S. law.

Blue laws* are relics of a time when church and state seemed inextricably intertwined. They survive through the same sort of legislative inertia that preserves the numerous city ordinances against kite flying—a pastime once feared as a sure horse-frightener.

Today every state of the Union except Alaska has some sort of never-on-Sunday law on the books. They range from prohibitions directed at...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!