Chicago Rabbis Indicate Caution of Fighting Illinois Sunday Law

Chicago rabbinical groups indicated an attitude of caution today in plans to combat the Illinois Sunday closing law for automobile dealers which was signed into law last week. The measure was signed by Governor Otto Kerner over objections of religious groups which also included the Seventh Day Adventists, Seventh Day Baptists and other denominations who cannot transact business on their Sabbath, which is Saturday.

Rabbi Harold P. Smith, legislative commission chairman of the Orthodox Chicago Rabbinical Council, said the council planned to study the new law before any action was taken. Rabbi Philip L. Lipis, president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, said the board, made up of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, opposed the measure “because we felt that it infringes on the religious rights of the Sabbath observer.”

Automobile dealers sought a local injunction and said they would take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. The Supreme Court recently ruled similar Sunday closing measures as constitutional.

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