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Braunfeld v. Brown

Significance, Impact, Blue Laws/morality Laws


Abraham Braunfeld, et al.


Albert N. Brown, Commissioner of Police of Philadelphia, et al.

Appellant's Claim

That Philadelphia's blue laws, which force the closing of stores on Sundays, interfere with the free exercise of religion.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Theodore R. Mann

Chief Lawyer for the Appellee

David Berger

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, Tom C. Clark, Felix Frankfurter, John Marshall Harlan II, Charles Evans Whittaker, Earl Warren (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 May 1961


Upheld Pennsylvania's blue laws, deciding that they did not violate individual freedom of religion.

Related Cases

  • Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879).
  • Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 296 (1940).
  • McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420 (1961).
  • Two Guys from Harrison-Allentown, Inc. v. McGinley, 366 U.S. 582 (1961).


New Standard Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, Chicago, IL: Standard Educational Corp., 1990.

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Witt, Elder, ed. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1990.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962