blue laws

(redirected from blue law)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.

blue laws,

legislation regulating public and private conduct, especially laws relating to Sabbath observance. The term was originally applied to the 17th-century laws of the theocratic New Haven colony, and appears to originate in A General History of Connecticut (London, 1781), by the Loyalist Anglican clergyman Samuel A. Peters, who had lived in Hebron, Conn. New Haven and other Puritan colonies of New England had rigid laws prohibiting Sabbath breaking, breaches in family discipline, drunkenness, and excesses in dress. Although such legislation had its origins in European SabbatarianSabbatarians,
persons who insist upon strict observance of Sunday as the Sabbath. Societies promoting Sabbatarian objectives include the Lord's Day Alliance of the United States and the Lord's Day Observance Society in England.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and sumptuary lawssumptuary laws
, regulations based on social, religious, or moral grounds directed against overindulgence of luxury in diet and drink and extravagance in dress and mode of living.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the term "blue laws" is usually applied only to American legislation. With the dissolution of the Puritan theocracies after the American Revolution, blue laws declined; many of them lay forgotten in state statute books only to be revived much later. The growth of the prohibitionprohibition,
legal prevention of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, the extreme of the regulatory liquor laws. The modern movement for prohibition had its main growth in the United States and developed largely as a result of the agitation of
..... Click the link for more information.
 movement in the 19th cent. and early 20th cent. brought with it other laws regulating private conduct. Many states forbade the sale of cigarettes, and laws prohibited secular amusements as well as all unnecessary work on Sunday; provision was made for strict local censorship of books, plays, films and other means of instruction and entertainment. Although much of this legislation has been softened if not repealed, there are still many areas and communities in the United States, especially those where religious fundamentalism is strong, that retain blue laws. The Supreme Court has upheld Sunday closing laws ruling that such laws do not interfere with the free exercise of religion and do not constitute the establishment of a state religion.

blue laws

restrict personal action to improve community morality. [Am. Hist.: Hart, 87]
References in periodicals archive ?
Today's bets Requinto 2.30 Cork 2pts win Fammi Sognare 4.05 Cork 1pt win Blue Law 5.05 Cork 1pt win
Oregon's struggling auto dealers plan to ask the Legislature to impose "blue laws" banning car sales on Sunday.
Because of the existence of blue laws, Pennsylvania remained a difficult place for Sabbath-keepers into the twentieth century, and legal action continued to be brought against those who attempted to work on Sunday.
But in stall 13, Blue Law is drawn considerably better than that duo and, having won off a mark off 66 in the past, can remain competitive off 56 here.
But there was a time, nearly 20 years back, that Arkansans were saddled with Sunday sales prohibitions known universally and inexplicably as "blue laws." As ludicrous as it now seems, business that was perfectly legal Monday through Saturday was illegal on Sunday.
You can't buy liquor on Sundays and car dealerships can only be open one day over a weekend because of the last remnants of so-called "blue laws" in Texas.
However, the pleasantries turned sour when the decision was made that the blue law against Sunday sports would be honored.
The Ware store was not selling alcohol because it was Election Day - in accordance with an old blue law that many towns long ago opted out of.
Meanwhile, another large mid-Atlantic state has just modified its own blue law prohibiting Sunday sales.
The 19th Century Blue Law that prohibited it was originally intended to encourage church attendance.
Commit To Memory confirmed the promise of his all-weather debut at Dundalk as he justified 3-1 favouritism under Ahern, scoring by six lengths from stable companion Blue Law.