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N.j. Supreme Court Rejects Jewish Claim Against Sunday Closing Law

The New Jersey Supreme Court rejected yesterday the claim of a Jewish merchant that the state Sunday closing law violated his rights as an Orthodox Jew.

In sustaining the law by a 4-3 vote, the New Jersey court cited a majority ruling by the United States Supreme Court that Sunday closing laws in other states did not violate the rights of those who observed the Sabbath on Saturday. The New Jersey law was adopted two years ago by referendum in 12 of the state’s 21 countries. It bans the sale on Sunday of clothing, furniture, building material and appliances.

The decision upheld the conviction of David Fass, a West New York merchant who was arrested for selling carpeting on Sunday. He appealed the arrest on grounds that as an Orthodox Jew, he had to shut his store on Saturdays, and that because the Sunday law forced him to close his store on that day, he was under economic disadvantage.

Mr. Fass also contended that the law contained an exception for those who observed the Sabbath on Saturday. Associate Justice John J. Francis, who delivered the majority opinion, said that the exception did not apply to merchants who “openly expose to sale on Sunday, any goods, wares, merchandise or other article.”