In reaching their conclusion, the Court also examined the wider question of whether laws proscribing or limiting Sunday trading were constitutional. They held that such laws did not violate the division between church and state, because - no matter the historical roots of such laws - the laws existed as constituted in order to fulfill a secular objective. In other words, even if Sunday trading laws were originally intended to facilitate and encourage church attendance in the colonial United States, the laws as presently constituted were intended to improve the "health, safety, recreation, and general well-being" of citizens. The present purpose of the laws is to provide a uniform day of rest for all
Appellants, employees of a large department store on a highway in Anne Arundel County, Md., were convicted and fined in a Maryland State Court for selling on Sunday a loose-leaf binder, a can of floor wax, a stapler, staples and a toy, in violation of Md.Ann.Code, Art. 27, § 521, which generally prohibits the sale on Sunday of all merchandise except the retail sale of tobacco products, confectioneries, milk, bread, fruit, gasoline, oils, greases, drugs, medicines, newspapers and periodicals. Recent amendments now except from the prohibition the retail sale in Anne Arundel County of all foodstuffs, automobile and boating accessories, flowers, toilet goods, hospital supplies and souvenirs, and exempt entirely any retail establishment in that County which employs not more than one person other than the owner.
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