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Braunfeld v. Brown (docket #: 67) (1961)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 12/08/1960
Decided 05/29/1961
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Supreme Court Ruling Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause claims denied; Statute neither promotes establishment of religion nor prohibits free exercise of appellants’ religion, within the meaning of the First Amendment.
IssueWhether a Philadelphia statute preventing sale of retail on Sundays constitutes a law respecting an establishment of religion and interferes with free exercise of religion by imposing serious economic disadvantages to member of the Orthodox Jewish Faith, who must close their businesses on Saturday in order to observe their Sabbath.
Majority Opinion Warren, C.J. (joined by Black, Clark, and Whittaker, J.J.)
Concurring Opinion Frankfurter, J. (joined by Harlan, J.)
Dissenting Opinion Douglas, J.
Lower Court Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Lower Court Ruling Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause claims denied.
Oral Arguments audio record  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Theodore R. Mann

For Respondent
David Berger

For Amicus
Retail Clerks International Association, AFL-CIO, National Retail Merchants Association (for Respondents)

Retail ClerSynagogue Council of America (for Petitioners)

News Stories & Commentary
"Court's Blue Ruling Worries Adventist," The Washington Post, Aug. 5, 1961, Sect. C, p. 2
"Sunday Laws Backed," The New York Times, Oct. 13, 1960, p. 54
Cassels, Louis, "Says Supreme Court May Kill Sundays Off," The Chicago Defender, Jan. 14, 1961, p. 20
Opinion - Lower Court
Abraham Braunfeld v. Thomas J. Gibbons and Victor H. Blanc, 184 F. Supp. 352 (E.D.Pa 1959) (dismissing the case after finding nothing in amended complaint to challenge the constitutionality of the Pennsylvania Act)
"Supreme Court’s Actions," New York Times, May 30, 1961, pg. 34
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.)(2006), p. 1255
Dickson, Del, THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE (1940-1985) (2001), pp. 393-395
Nowak, John E. & Rotunda, Ronald D., PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2ND ED., 2005), sect. 17.8
Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.) (1996), p. 1591
Tribe, Laurence, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (22nd ed., 1988) sect. 14.13
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