Thursday, July 1, 2010
A district court judge has held unconstitutional a Pennsylvania statute forbidding the use of blasphemous or profane language in the naming of businesses or corporations. U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson ruled that the law, passed in 1977, had "a predominantly religious purpose." Read the ruling in Kalman v. Cortes here (via the Volokh Conspiracy).
The plaintiff, a filmmaker named George Kalman, had applied to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State to name his company "I Choose Hell Productions"; his application was refused. Commentary here from Eugene Volokh prior to the ruling; here's an article on the ruling from Law.com; here's a student note by Carly Karlberg on the controversy, published in the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion.