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Court casesBeginning in the mid-19th century, religious and ethno-cultural minorities arrested for violating state and local blue laws appealed their convictions to state supreme courts. In Specht v. Commonwealth (Pa. 1848), for example, German Seventh Day Baptists in Pennsylvania employed attorney Thaddeus Stevens to challenge the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's Sunday law.[31] As in cases in other states, litigants pointed to the provisions of state constitutions protecting religious liberty and maintained that Sunday laws were a blatant violation. Though typically unsuccessful (most state supreme courts upheld the constitutionality of Sunday laws), these constitutional challenges helped set a pattern by which subsequent moral minorities would seek to protect religious freedom and minority rights.[32]

The Supreme Court of the United States held in its landmark case, McGowan v. Maryland (1961), that Maryl

The Supreme Court of the United States held in its landmark case, McGowan v. Maryland (1961), that Maryland's blue laws violated neither the Free Exercise Clause nor the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[33] It approved the state's blue law restricting commercial activities on Sunday, noting that while such laws originated to encourage attendance at Christian churches, the contemporary Maryland laws were intended to serve "to provide a uniform day of rest for all citizens" on a secular basis and to promote the secular values of "health, safety, recreation, and general well-being" through a common day of rest. That this day coincides with Christian Sabbath is not a bar to the state's secular goals; it neither reduces its effectiveness for secular purposes nor prevents adherents of other religions from observing their own holy days.[34]

McGowan was but one of four Sunday closing cases decided together by the Court in May of 1961. In Gallagher v. Crown Kosher Super Market of Mass., Inc.,[35] the Court ruled against a Kosher deli that closed on Saturday but was open on Sunday. The other two cases were Braunfeld v. Brown, [36] and Two Guys from Harrison vs. McGinley.[37][38] Chief Justice Earl Warren declared that "the State seeks to set one day apart from all others as a day of rest, repose, recreation and tranquility--a day which all members of the family and community have the opportunity to spend and enjoy together, a day on which there exists relative quiet and disassociation from the everyday intensity of commercial activities, a day on which people may visit friends and relative who are not available during working days."[2]

In March 2006, Texas judges upheld the state blue law that requires car dealerships to close either Saturday or Sunday each weekend.[39]