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
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: Suggested Citation