BRAUNFELD V. BROWN, 366 U. S. 599 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. 599 (1961)

Braunfeld v. Brown

No. 67

Argued December 8, 1960

Decided May 29, 1961

366 U.S. 599


Appellants are members of the Orthodox Jewish Faith, which requires the closing of their places of business and total abstention from all manner of work from nightfall each Friday until nightfall each Saturday. As merchants engaged in the retail sale of clothing and home furnishings in Philadelphia, they sued to enjoin enforcement of a 1959 Pennsylvania criminal statute which forbade the retail sale on Sundays of those commodities and other specified commodities. They claimed that the statute violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and constituted a law respecting an establishment of religion, and that it interfered with the free exercise of their religion by imposing serious economic disadvantages upon them if they adhere to the observance of their Sabbath, and that it would operate so as to hinder the Orthodox .Jewish Faith in gaining new members.

Held: the statute does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, nor constitute a law respecting an establishment of religion, Two Guys from Harrison-Allentown, Inc. v. McGinley, ante, p. 366 U. S. 582, and it does not prohibit the free exercise of appellants' religion, within the meaning of the First Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 366 U. S. 600-610.

184 F. Supp. 352 affirmed.

Page 366 U. S. 600

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