NEW YORK (Jul. 31)
The American Jewish Congress has urged Governor Carey to veto two measures passed by the New York State Legislature that would revive compulsory Sunday observance laws. Louis E. Yavner, chairman of the AJCongress Metropolitan Council, wrote Carey stating the organization’s opposition to the enactment of the bills.
“Such laws are basically religious laws, designed to compel all persons to observe a religious day of rest,” Yavner said. “We believe that the state has no moral or constitutional right to sanctify Sunday or any other day of the week for ‘religious observance’ and compel adherence by all persons, whether or not they share in the underlying religious premise. Nor should any person be forced to prove to the satisfaction of a peace officer or court that he or she observes another day of the week as the Sabbath.”
He charged the measures “attempt to disguise a basically religious law as secular measures, under the guise of encouraging energy conservation, in order to avoid their being adjudged unconstitutional under the First Amendment.”