2010-07-08 / Local & State

U.S. Judge Says Pennsylvania Blasphemy Law Unconstitutional

By Peter Jackson ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A federal judge has ruled that a Pennsylvania law banning blasphemy from the names of corporations is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson ruled Wednesday on a lawsuit filed by a Chester County filmmaker whose application to call his company “I Choose Hell Productions’’ was turned down by state officials.

The judge said the 1977 law violates the First Amendment by leaving it up to state employees in the State Department’s Corporation Bureau to determine what constitutes blasphemy based on their own individual religious beliefs.

Plaintiff George Kalman of Downingtown was allowed to name his company I.C.H. Productions, using the ini- tials of the words he originally proposed.

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