Late Tuesday afternoon, DC amended its "Blue Laws," which had required that liquor stores remain closed on Sundays. Unique to the metropolitan area in its Sabbath puritanism-since Virginia repealed its blue laws this summer-the District has followed the lead of its neighbors in the hope of fostering continued economic development in the city's nightlife and pubs. While these laws were more of a strange anachronism than an active attempt at moral cultivation, they remind us of a time when the role of the government in enforcing an interpretation of scripture was less than covert.
It bears reminding that not everyone in our society agrees that Sunday is a holy day and as such, repealing these laws was a victory for all those who hold individual freedom of choice to be more important than the desire of some to dictate their moral preferences from the courthouse. DC's reform on this matter is a refreshing example of what good policymaking should value and it is deeply unfortunate that the ability to separate religious reasoning and good public policy is not more widespread in this country. The ability to choose how to live one's life is fundamental to the pursuit of happiness that underlies this great nation. We can all drink to that, no matter the day of the week.