Sundays Excepted: Originalism, the Blue Laws, and the Christian Nation

47 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2006 Last revised: 26 Feb 2009

Date Written: December 1, 2006

Abstract

This Paper examines the text, history and structure of the Sunday exception in the Presentment Clause of the Constitution. It refutes the arguments that the Sunday exceptions enshrines the principle of a ┬┐Christian nation┬┐ into the Constitution or that it subsidizes the religious observance of the president. Instead, the Sunday exception illuminates two principles: deliberation and federalism. Rather than preempting state Sunday laws to allow the president and his advisors to deliberate on Sundays, the Sunday exception acts as a pressure valve to avoid conflicts with state laws.

Keywords: Establishment Clause, originalism, legal history, constitution, church and state

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Lilley, Jaynie R., Sundays Excepted: Originalism, the Blue Laws, and the Christian Nation (December 1, 2006). Alabama Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 507, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949842 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.949842

Jaynie R. Lilley (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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