New lawsuit challenges Maine’s Sunday hunting ban

You will not hunt on Sunday. So prescribed by law in Maine. But a new lawsuit, filed last Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court by Virginia Parker of Readfield, seeks to declare the long-held “blue law” unconstitutional, which would prevent the state from enforcing it.

Maine is just one of two US states, along with Massachusetts, that still bans hunting on Sundays, a ban that originated in colonial New England. Pine Tree State’s statute has withstood numerous legal challenges over the decades, sporting, on some counts, a 35-0 record against legal challenges. But a constitutional amendment approved by voters last November, known as the “right to food”, could provide the legal framework to finally write the Sunday ban into the history books.

“Blue Laws,” supposedly so named because they were designed to prevent “blue” or indecent behavior, such as profanity and drinking, on the Sabbath, were commonplace in the early 1900s. ‘America. Most, such as those limiting housework and travel, did not last beyond the colonial period. But some, aimed at banning Sunday work, hunting and the consumption of alcohol, remain on the books in many states.

New amendment guarantees the right to ‘harvest…food’

Maine’s new “Right to Food” Amendment – Article I, Section 25 of its constitution – guarantees Maines “a natural, inherent, and inalienable right to food, including…the right to farm, to raise, harvest, produce and consume food of their own choosing. Parker, the plaintiff in the case, told reporters outside court: “Opening the hunt on Sunday would allow our family to go on a weekend family hunting.We can teach our children how to harvest animals properly and safely.And we would have more opportunities to feed our family with an organic, natural and natural gift of wildlife. “

Jared Bornstein, founder of the Maine Hunters United for Sunday Hunting Facebook group, which has backed Parker’s lawsuit, added: “For the majority of Mainers who choose to hunt, it is a spiritual, ancestral and economic necessity that have the most opportunities. successful harvest. It is for this reason that the court will firmly side with the plaintiffs and strike down the age-old law prohibiting hunting for traditional Maine wildlife food sources on Sunday.

Despite the state’s long history of upholding the Sunday hunting ban, Bornstein says Parker has a strong case, since the new amendment enshrines all Mainers with “the inherent and inalienable right to food – including the wild game they harvest”.

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