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Started Apr 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
DavidMaven
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Blue laws
In reply to Mark B., Apr 7, 2013

"Blue Laws" have historically hurt the businesses of observant Jews, who can't open Saturdays for reasons of their own religion, but on Sunday when they can work, they are prohibited from being open because of "Blue laws" protecting the businesses of those who observe Sabbath on Sunday but still open on Saturday instead.

Powerful business interests lobbying in state, county, and municipal governments have worked for generations to protect against *fair* competition, getting to the point of legalized discrimination couched as a religion-neutral "enforcement of uniform day of rest for workers".

Bergen County, NJ, is one of the last maintainers of the most extensive sets of Blue laws, (the town of Paramus in the county especially), while  ironically having a relatively large observant Jewish population, though not large enough, it seems to counter with votes the monied interests who work to preserve Blue laws despite Gov. Chris Christie trying to repeal the blue laws.

It seems to me that Blue laws must have prevented or hurt, to some degree, employment in NJ, as the businesses of observant Jews have tended to go to or stay in NY, as a result. Observant Jews rarely venture to live in new communities, because of the need to walk to (existing) synagogues instead of instead of driving on the Sabbath which is prohibited, the need to recite daily prayers in a quorum of 10 other Jews, and the need to be close to reasonable supplies of kosher food, all of which, in a self-reinforcing system, tend to be concentrated in areas where there are large numbers of observant Jews who build and operate synagogues and businesses like kosher supermarkets.

Sunday Blue laws inherently and plainly favor some religions over others. I'm no lawyer, so I don't know if the Supreme Court has taken up the issue before or sent the cases back to the state level.

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