Can Choose Hell

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Registered: 03-09-2001
Can Choose Hell
Thu, 07-01-2010 - 11:21pm

" * July 1, 2010, 5:12 PM ET

Federal Court: Corps Can ‘Choose Hell,’ Other Blasphemous Things

A Pennsylvania man who ran afoul of a state blasphemy law by trying to name his company “I Choose Hell Productions, LLC” scored a victory yesterday in federal court. See here for the ruling. (h/t: Volokh Conspiracy)

The statute, enacted in 1977, required that no corporate name in Pennsylvania contain “ords that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord’s name,” according to yesterday’s opinion, which suggests the law originated in response to a store colorfully named “The G– D— Gun Shop.”

Three decades later, independent filmmaker George Kalman ran up against that law when he tried to register his production company, so he took to the courts.

At issue in the case is whether the law violated violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause and/or its Establishment Clause, which broadly prohibits laws that promote or affiliate the government with a religious doctrine or organization.

Yesterday, the court ruled it violated both. U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson wrote that the statute had “glaring” constitutional defects, relying in part on testimony from state employees about how the statute was applied."

(blog article continues...)





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