A Gazette editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “Blue laws” originated in Puritan times to prevent pleasure or commerce on the Sabbath. The name apparently came from the moral rigidity implied by “blue-nose” or “blue-stocking.” (Claims that they were written on blue paper are a myth.)
Although America’s freedom of religion forbids church laws, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that blue laws are legal to enforce a secular “day of rest.”
However, as modernity progressed, nearly all states gradually dropped Sabbath laws.
A half-century ago, it was a crime for most West Virginia stores to open on the Sabbath, but that taboo was erased. Now the Mountain State retains only two blue laws that restrict Sunday hunting and sale of alcohol before 1 p.m. Sunday.
The 2016 Legislature decreed that restaurant liquor sales may start as early as 10 a.m. on Sundays, if county voters approve a referendum…