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Braunfeld v. Brown


Justice Brennan wrote a dissenting opinion, in which he argued that the blue laws actually did infringe on the free exercise of religion. The burden which the laws created for the appellant, while indirect, was great; if Braunfeld had to close his shop on Sundays, he would not be able to continue in his business. Justice Brennan phrased the question as

whether a state may put an individual to a choice between his business and his religion,
and argued that it was in fact unconstitutional to do so.

In the end, however, the case had limited impact on religious freedom. Shopping malls and chain stores changed the way business was done, and the blue laws which the case called into question were largely repealed as commerce in towns, cities, and suburbs grew.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Braunfeld v. Brown - Significance, Impact, Blue Laws/morality Laws