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[Ben]:Blue laws in Indiana Discuss This [2 comments so far] View Comments
As most of you know, I'm opposed to laws which criminalize harmless actions. Usually I focus on free speech, gun control and the like. Today however, I'd like to address something that might actually be changed: Blue Laws.

The Saturday evening before I got married, I went into Kroger to buy some champagne. While I was standing in line, the lady in front of me was whining to the cashier about Indiana's law against selling alcohol on Sunday. She said she was from California and was going on about how free she was there and how much more restrictive things were here. I laughed and said that in my experience California had plenty of silly restrictive laws too (though I didn't elaborate that I would probably be a felon in California just standing there with what I had on me). She said "Yeah, but I could at least buy alcohol on Sunday."

As far as that goes, she was right.

It is my opinion that the blue laws on the books in Indiana need to be stricken, and I want to find a way to do it.

If your faith states that you shouldn't do business on Sunday, or shouldn't buy or sell certain types of items, I'm not saying you should be forced to. What I'm saying is that the so called "Lord's Day" does not need to be recognized by the State and enforced by the power of the law.

I doubt it could be done through a court ruling based on the First Amendment because of the Supreme Court's ruling in McGowan v. Maryland (unless someone has a faith that requires buying or selling alcohol or motor vehicles on Sunday). Basically, that ruling states that laws with a religious basis are okay as long as they've got a secular purpose too. In this case, the secular purpose cited was "health, safety, recreation, and general well-being". Like the Interstate Commerce Clause, that could be taken to mean just about anything.

So that leaves a legislative effort. Does anyone think that there would be any support for knocking these laws off the books?
  2006-03-02
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